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Where do Personal Experience and Imitation Drive Choice?

  • Leonardo Boncinelli


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.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Siena in its series Department of Economics University of Siena with number 519.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:519
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  1. Fernando Vega Redondo, 1996. "The evolution of walrasian behavior," Working Papers. Serie AD 1996-05, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Karl H. Schlag, 1995. "Why Imitate, and if so, How? A Bounded Rational Approach to Multi-Armed Bandits," Discussion Paper Serie B 361, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Mar 1996.
  5. Leonardo Boncinelli, 2007. "Choice under Markovian Constraints," Department of Economics University of Siena 516, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  6. 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.
  7. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
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