Imitators and Optimizers in a Changing Environment
We analyze the dynamic interaction between imitators and optimizers in a changing world. To this end, we put forward a symmetric duopoly game of strategic substitutes where players interact repeatedly in a world of demand- and cost-uncertainty. If the environment changes every period, the process converges globally to a unique two-period cycle where the optimizer has highest payoff every period. As to the general stochastic case, we characterize the long-run average per-period payoff for the optimizer and the imitator respectively as a function of the environmental switching probabilities. It turns out that the imitator experiences selection pressure for a large range of switching probabilities.
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