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Custom Versus Fashion: Path-Dependence and Limit Cycles in a Random Matching Game

  • Kiminori Matsuyama

A pairwise random matching game is considered to identify the social environments that give rise to the social custom and fashion cycles. The game, played by Conformists and Nonconformists, can generate a variety of socially stable behavior patterns. In the path-dependence case, Conformists set the social custom and Nonconformists revolt against it; what actin becomes the custom is determined by "history." In the limit cycle case, Nonconformists become fashion leaders and switch their actions periodically, while Conformists follow with delay. The outcome depends on the relative share of Conformists to Nonconformists as well as their matching patterns.

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Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 1030.

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Date of creation: Jun 1991
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Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1030
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