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Social Leanring with Course Inference

  • Antonio Guarino

    (University College London)

  • Philippe Jehiel

    (Paris School of Economics)

We study social learning by boundedly rational agents. Agents take a decision in sequence, after observing their predecessors and a private signal. They are unable to understand their predecessors’ decisions in their finest details: they only understand the relation between the aggregate distribution of actions and the state of nature. We show that, in a continuous action space, compared to the rational case, agents put more weight on early signals. Despite this behavioral bias, beliefs converge to the truth. In a discrete action space, instead, convergence to the truth does not occur even if agents receive signals of unbounded precisions.

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Paper provided by ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London in its series WEF Working Papers with number 0050.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:wef:wpaper:0050
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  1. Philippe Jehiel & Frederic Koessler, 2005. "Revisiting Games of Incomplete Information with Analogy-Based Expectations," THEMA Working Papers 2005-04, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  2. Ellison, Glenn & Fudenberg, Drew, 1992. "Rules of Thumb for Social Learning," IDEI Working Papers 17, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  3. Peter M. DeMarzo & Dimitri Vayanos & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 2003. "Persuasion Bias, Social Influence, and Unidimensional Opinions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 909-968.
  4. Erik Eyster & Matt Rabin, 2003. "Cursed Equilibrium," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0303002, EconWPA.
  5. Banerjee, Abhijit & Fudenberg, Drew, 2004. "Word-of-mouth learning," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-22, January.
  6. Kübler, Dorothea & Weizsäcker, Georg, 2000. "Limited depth of reasoning and failure of cascade formation in the laboratory," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,3, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  7. Gale, Douglas, 1996. "What have we learned from social learning?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 617-628, April.
  8. Philippe Jeniel, 2001. "Analogy-Based Expectation Equilibrium," Economics Working Papers 0003, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  9. Weizsäcker, Georg, 2008. "Do We Follow Others When We Should? A Simple Test of Rational Expectations," IZA Discussion Papers 3616, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Steffen Huck & Joerg Oechssler, 1997. "Informational Cascades with Continuous Action Spaces," Game Theory and Information 9710002, EconWPA.
  11. Hirshleifer, David & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2001. "Herd Behavior and Cascading in Capital Markets: A Review and Synthesis," MPRA Paper 5186, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. 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.
  13. Celen, Bogachan & Kariv, Shachar, 2004. "Observational learning under imperfect information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 72-86, April.
  14. Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817.
  15. Antonio Guarino & Steffen Huck & Heike Harmgart, 2008. "When half the truth is better than the truth: A Theory of aggregate information cascades," WEF Working Papers 0046, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London.
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