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Rules of Thumb for Social Learning

  • Ellison, Glenn
  • Fudenberg, Drew

This paper studies agents who consider the experiences of their neighbors in deciding which of two technologies to use. We analyze two learning environments, one in which the same technology is optimal for all players and another in which each technology is better for some of them. In both environments, players use exogenously specified rules of thumb that ignore historical data but may incorporate a tendency to use the more popular technology. In some cases these naive rules can lead to fairly efficient decisions in the long run, but adjustment can be slow when a superior technology is first introduced.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3196332.

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Date of creation: 1993
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Political Economy
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3196332
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  1. Kandori, Michihiro & Mailath, George J & Rob, Rafael, 1993. "Learning, Mutation, and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 29-56, January.
  2. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
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