The Wisdom of the Minority
We consider a simple variant of the canonical model of social learning and show that in many situations it is optimal for an agent to abandon her own information and follow the minority rather than the majority. This possibility depends on two economically meaningful requirements: agents are differentially informed and observe only the number of agents having chosen each option, such as consumers observing only market shares. We show that minority wisdom arises when information is sufficiently heterogeneous and the well informed are not overly abundant, yet the conditions necessary are not overly restrictive. In fact, it is possible for the minority to be wise even when the minority consists of a lone dissenter and a majority of citizens are well informed.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
|Date of creation:||2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA|
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Smith, L. & Sorensen, P., 1996.
"Pathological Outcomes of Observational Learning,"
115, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
- Celen, Bogachan & Kariv, Shachar, 2004. "Observational learning under imperfect information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 72-86, April.
- Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992.
"A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
- Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
- Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817.
- Ramon Caminal & Xavier Vives, 1996. "Why Market Shares Matter: An Information-Based Theory," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 221-239, Summer.
- Prendergast, Canice, 1993. "A Theory of "Yes Men."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 757-70, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed005:683. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.