Location of Repository

Imitation - Theory and Experimental Evidence

By Jose Apesteguia, Steffen Huck and Jörg Oechssler

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.Evolutionary game theory; Stochastic stability; Imitation; Cournot markets; Experiments

OAI identifier:

Suggested articles

Preview

Citations

  1. (1989). An Updated Review of Industrial Organization: Applications of Experimental Economics”,
  2. (1992). Average Behavior in Learning Models”,
  3. (2004). Cournot vs. Walras in Dynamic Oligopolies with Memory”,
  4. (2004). Experimentally Observed Imitation and Cooperation
  5. (2002). Imitation and Belief Learning in an Oligopoly Experiment”,
  6. (1998). Individual and Social Structure,
  7. (1995). Industrial Organization: A Survey of Laboratory Research”, in: John Kagel and Alvin Roth (eds.): T h eH a n d b o o ko f Experimental Economics,
  8. (1999). Learning in Cournot Oligopoly: An Experiment”,
  9. (1993). Learning, Mutation, and Long Run Equilibria in
  10. (1996). Nash Equilibrium and Evolution by Imitation”,
  11. (1988). Nonparametric Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences,
  12. (1999). On the Role of Reinforcement Learning in Experimental Games: The Cognitive Game–Theoretic Approach”,
  13. (1998). Predicting How People Play Games: Reinforcement Learning in
  14. (1960). Stability of the Gradient Process in n–Person Games”,
  15. (1994). Stochastic Stability with Alternative Best Replies”,
  16. (1998). The Theory of Learning in Games,
  17. (2004). Two are Few and Four are Many: Number E¤ects in Experimental Oligopoly”,
  18. (1999). Which One Should I Imitate?”,
  19. (1998). Why Imitate, and If So, How? A Boundedly Rational Approach to Multi-armed Bandits”,
  20. (1999). z-Tree. Zürich Toolbox for Readymade Economic Experiments”,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.