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Imitation and Experimentation in a Changing Environment

  • Francesco Squintani
  • Juuso Valimaki

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.

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File URL: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/papers/1275.pdf
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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 1275.

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Date of creation: Oct 1999
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Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1275
Contact details of provider: Postal: Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science, Northwestern University, 580 Jacobs Center, 2001 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208-2014
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Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/
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  1. 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.
  2. Keller, Godfrey & Rady, Sven, 1999. "Optimal Experimentation in a Changing Environment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 475-507, July.
  3. J. Hofbauer & J. Weibull, 2010. "Evolutionary Selection against dominated strategies," Levine's Working Paper Archive 444, David K. Levine.
  4. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  5. Marco Ottaviani & Giuseppe Moscarini & Lones Smith, 1998. "Social learning in a changing world," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 657-665.
  6. Lones Smith & Peter Sorensen, 2000. "Pathological Outcomes of Observational Learning," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 371-398, March.
  7. 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.
  8. Aldo Rustichini & Asher Wolinsky, 1992. "Learning about Variable Demand in the Long Run," Discussion Papers 1015, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Friedman, Daniel, 1991. "Evolutionary Games in Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 637-66, May.
  10. K. Schlag, 2010. "Why Imitate, and if so, How? Exploring a Model of Social Evolution," Levine's Working Paper Archive 454, David K. Levine.
  11. Jorgen W. Weibull, 1997. "Evolutionary Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262731215, June.
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