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Imitation - Theory and Experimental Evidence

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  • Apesteguia, José
  • Huck, Steffen
  • Oechssler, Jörg

Abstract

We introduce a generalized theoretical approach to study imitation models and subject the models to rigorous experimental testing. In our theoretical analysis we find that the different predictions of previous imitation models are due to different informational assumptions, not to different behavioral rules. It is more important whom one imitates rather than how. In a laboratory experiment we test the different theories by systematically varying information conditions. We find that the generalized imitation model predicts the differences between treatments well. The data also provide support for imitation on the individual level, both in terms of choice and in terms of perception. But imitation is not unconditional. Rather individuals' propensity to imitate more successful actions is increasing in payoff differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Apesteguia, José & Huck, Steffen & Oechssler, Jörg, 2003. "Imitation - Theory and Experimental Evidence," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers 20/2003, University of Bonn, Bonn Graduate School of Economics (BGSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bonedp:202003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Evolutionary game theory; Stochastic stability; Imitation; Cournot markets; Experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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