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Imitators and Optimizers in a Changing Environment

  • Burkhard Hehenkamp
  • Oddvar Kaarbøe

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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File URL: http://www.wiso.uni-dortmund.de/mik/de/content/forschung/DPSeries/PDF/02-01.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Dortmund, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 02_01.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mik:wpaper:02_01
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  1. M. Kandori & G. Mailath & R. Rob, 1999. "Learning, Mutation and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 500, David K. Levine.
  2. Fernando Vega Redondo, 1996. "The evolution of walrasian behavior," Working Papers. Serie AD 1996-05, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  3. Douglas Gale & Robert W. Rosenthal, 1996. "Experimentation, Imitation, and Stochastic Stability," Papers 0065, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  4. Schenk-Hoppe, Klaus Reiner, 2000. "The evolution of Walrasian behavior in oligopolies," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 35-55, February.
  5. Rhode, Paul & Stegeman, Mark, 2001. "Non-Nash equilibria of Darwinian dynamics with applications to duopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 415-453, March.
  6. Gale, Douglas & Rosenthal, Robert W., 2001. "Experimentation, Imitation, and Stochastic Stability: Addendum," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 164-174, March.
  7. Conlisk, John, 1980. "Costly optimizers versus cheap imitators," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 275-293, September.
  8. Droste, Edward & Hommes, Cars & Tuinstra, Jan, 2002. "Endogenous fluctuations under evolutionary pressure in Cournot competition," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 232-269, August.
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