IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Informational Herding and Optimal Experimentation

Listed author(s):
  • Lones Smith

    (Department of Economics, University of Michigan)

  • Peter Norman Sørensen

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

We show that far from capturing a formally new phenomenon, informational herding is really a special case of single-person experimentation - and `bad herds' the typical failure of complete learning. We then analyze the analogous team equilibrium, where individuals maximize the present discounted welfare of posterity. To do so, we generalize Gittins indices to our non-bandit learning problem, and thereby characterize when contrarian behaviour arises: (i) While herds are still constrained efficient, they arise for a strictly smaller belief set. (ii) A log-concave log-likelihood ratio density robustly ensures that individuals should lean more against their myopic preference for an action the more popular it becomes.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/english/research/publications/wp/2005/0513.pdf/
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 05-13.

as
in new window

Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2005
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0513
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Øster Farimagsgade 5, Building 26, DK-1353 Copenhagen K., Denmark

Phone: (+45) 35 32 30 10
Fax: +45 35 32 30 00
Web page: http://www.econ.ku.dk
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Amir, R., "undated". "Sensitivity analysis of multisector optimal economic dynamics," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1192, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Aghion, P. & Bolton, P. & Harris, C. & Jullien, B., 1990. "Optimal Learning By Experimentation," DELTA Working Papers 90-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  3. Lones Smith & Peter Sorensen, 2000. "Pathological Outcomes of Observational Learning," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 371-398, March.
  4. Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "A two-armed bandit theory of market pricing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 185-202, October.
  5. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  6. Xavier Vives, 1993. "How Fast do Rational Agents Learn?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 329-347.
  7. Burdett, Kenneth, 1996. "Truncated means and variances," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 263-267, September.
  8. Sgroi, D., 2000. "Optimizing Information in the Herd: Guinea Pigs, Profit and Welfare," Economics Papers 2000-w14, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  9. Chamley, Christophe & Gale, Douglas, 1994. "Information Revelation and Strategic Delay in a Model of Investment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 1065-1085, September.
  10. Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817.
  11. Doyle, Matthew, 2002. "Informational Externalities, Strategic Delay, and the Search for Optimal Policy," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10046, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  12. McLennan, Andrew, 1984. "Price dispersion and incomplete learning in the long run," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 331-347, September.
  13. James Dow, 1991. "Search Decisions with Limited Memory," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 1-14.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0513. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Hoffmann)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.