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Conformism and Cooperation in a Local Interaction Model

  • Mengel, Friederike

We present and analyze a local interaction model where agents play a bilateral prisoner's dilemma game with their neighbors. Agents learn about behavior through payoff-biased imitation of their interaction neighbors (and possibly some agents beyond this set). We find that the [Eshel, I., L. Samuelson and A. Shaked, 1998, Altruists, Egoists and Hooligans in a Local Interaction Model, Am. Econ. Rev 88] result that polymorphic states are stochastically stable in such a setting is not robust. In particular whenever agents use information also of some agents beyond their interaction neighbors the unique stable outcome is one where everyone chooses defection. Introducing a sufficiently strong conformist bias into the imitation process we find that full cooperation always emerges. Conformism is thus identified as a new mechanism that can stabilize cooperation.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 4051.

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Date of creation: Apr 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:4051
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  1. Karl H. Schlag, . "Why Imitate, and if so, How? A Bounded Rational Approach to Multi- Armed Bandits," ELSE working papers 028, ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and Social Evolution.
  2. Jose Apesteguia & Steffen Huck & Jörg Oechssler, 2005. "Imitation - Theory and Experimental Evidence -," Working Papers 0419, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2005.
  3. Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 1995. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Discussion Papers 1098R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Schlag, Karl H., 1994. "Why Imitate, and if so, How? Exploring a Model of Social Evolution," Discussion Paper Serie B 296, University of Bonn, Germany.
  5. Edward Cartwright, 2007. "Imitation, coordination and the emergence of Nash equilibrium," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 119-135, September.
  6. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  7. Levine, David K. & Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 2007. "The evolution of cooperation through imitation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 293-315, February.
  8. Andrea Galeotti & Sanjeev Goyal & Matthew O. Jackson & Fernando Vega-Redondo & Leeat Yariv, 2010. "Network Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 218-244.
  9. Nobuyuki Hanaki & Alexander Peterhansl & Peter S. Dodds & Duncan J. Watts, 2007. "Cooperation in Evolving Social Networks," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(7), pages 1036-1050, July.
  10. Ellison, Glenn & Fudenberg, Drew, 1993. "Rules of Thumb for Social Learning," Scholarly Articles 3196332, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Constanza Fosco & Friederike Mengel, 2009. "Cooperation through Imitation and Exclusion in Networks," Working Papers 2009.37, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  12. Kirchkamp, Oliver & Nagel, Rosemarie, 2007. "Naive learning and cooperation in network experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 269-292, February.
  13. Fernando Vega-Redondo & Matteo Marsili & Frantisek Slanina, 2005. "Clustering, Cooperation, and Search in Social Networks," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 628-638, 04/05.
  14. Alós-Ferrer, Carlos & Weidenholzer, Simon, 2008. "Contagion and efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 251-274, November.
  15. Basci, Erdem, 1999. "Learning by imitation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 1569-1585, September.
  16. Ellison, Glenn, 2000. "Basins of Attraction, Long-Run Stochastic Stability, and the Speed of Step-by-Step Evolution," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 17-45, January.
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