Imitation - Theory and Experimental Evidence

47 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2003  

Jose Apesteguia

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Department of Economics and Business (DEB)

Steffen Huck

University College London - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Joerg Oechssler

University of Heidelberg - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics

Date Written: October 2003

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.

Keywords: evolutionary game theory, stochastic stability, imitation, Cournot markets, experiments

JEL Classification: C72, C91, C92, D43, L13

Suggested Citation

Apesteguia, Jose and Huck, Steffen and Oechssler, Joerg, Imitation - Theory and Experimental Evidence (October 2003). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1049. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=460141

Jose Apesteguia

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Department of Economics and Business (DEB) ( email )

Barcelona, 08005
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.upf.es/~apesteguia/

Steffen Huck (Contact Author)

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
+44 207 679 5895 (Phone)
+44 207 916 2774 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~uctpshu/

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Joerg Oechssler

University of Heidelberg - Alfred Weber Institute for Economics ( email )

Grabengasse 14
Heidelberg, D-69117
Germany
+49 6221 54 3548 (Phone)
+49 6221 54 3630 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.awi.uni-heidelberg.de/with2/theorie2/Team/Oechssler/Oechssler_main.html

Paper statistics

Downloads
253
Rank
97,890
Abstract Views
1,847