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Imitation and Experimentation in a Changing Environment

Author

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  • Francesco Squintani
  • Juuso Valimaki

Abstract

This paper analyzes the equilibrium play in a random matching model with a changing environment. Under myopic decision making, players adopt imitation strategies similar to those observed in evolutionary models with sampling from past play in the population. If the players are patient, equilibrium strategies display elements of experimentation in addition to imitation. If the changes in the environment are infrequent enough, these strategies succeed in coordinating almost all of the players on the dominant action almost all of the time. The myopic rules, on the other hand, result in mis-coordination for a positive fraction of time.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Squintani & Juuso Valimaki, 1999. "Imitation and Experimentation in a Changing Environment," Discussion Papers 1275, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1275
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    File URL: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/papers/1275.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Godfrey Keller & Sven Rady, 1999. "Optimal Experimentation in a Changing Environment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 475-507.
    2. Hofbauer, Josef & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1996. "Evolutionary Selection against Dominated Strategies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 558-573, November.
    3. Marco Ottaviani & Giuseppe Moscarini & Lones Smith, 1998. "Social learning in a changing world," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 11(3), pages 657-665.
    4. Jorgen W. Weibull, 1997. "Evolutionary Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262731215, January.
    5. Rustichini, Aldo & Wolinsky, Asher, 1995. "Learning about variable demand in the long run," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(5-7), pages 1283-1292.
    6. Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817.
    7. Lones Smith & Peter Sorensen, 2000. "Pathological Outcomes of Observational Learning," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 371-398, March.
    8. Schlag, Karl H., 1998. "Why Imitate, and If So, How?, : A Boundedly Rational Approach to Multi-armed Bandits," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 130-156, January.
    9. Friedman, Daniel, 1991. "Evolutionary Games in Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 637-666, May.
    10. Boylan, Richard T., 1992. "Laws of large numbers for dynamical systems with randomly matched individuals," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 473-504, August.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

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