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Where do Personal Experience and Imitation Drive Choice?

Author

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  • Leonardo Boncinelli

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Abstract

This papers investigates the efficiency of aggregate choice in the long run when the individual decision is driven by both personal experience and imitation. Personal experience is represented by choice sets depending upon previous choices. Imitation is modeled first through popularity weighting and then through a network of social influences. Intuition suggests imitation can work as a source of variety, spreading behaviors among which memory can make selection. However inefficiencies will persist in the stochastically stable distribution whenever the length of memory is not sufficiently long to stop inferior behaviors from moving perpetually along periodic cycles of social influences.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Boncinelli, 2007. "Where do Personal Experience and Imitation Drive Choice?," Department of Economics University of Siena 519, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  • Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:519
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    File URL: http://repec.deps.unisi.it/quaderni/519.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Glenn Ellison, 2000. "Basins of Attraction, Long-Run Stochastic Stability, and the Speed of Step-by-Step Evolution," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 17-45.
    2. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
    3. Fernando Vega-Redondo, 1997. "The Evolution of Walrasian Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(2), pages 375-384, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Offerman, Theo & Sonnemans, Joep, 1998. "Learning by experience and learning by imitating successful others," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 559-575, March.
    6. Leonardo Boncinelli, 2007. "Choice under Markovian Constraints," Department of Economics University of Siena 516, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    imitation; personal experience; limited cognitive capabilities;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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