Cooperation through imitation

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review

14 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-388
Journal / PublicationGames and Economic Behavior
Volume67
Issue number2
Early online date31 Jan 2009
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

This paper characterizes long-run outcomes for broad classes of symmetric games, when players select actions on the basis of average historical performance. Received wisdom suggests that when agent's interests are partially opposed, behavior is excessively competitive: "keeping up with the Jones' " lowers everyones' welfare. Here, we study the long-run consequences of imitative behavior when agents have sufficiently long memories and evaluate past actions in terms of (weighted) average payoff. Imitation robustly leads to cooperative outcomes (with highest symmetric payoffs) in the long run. Furthermore, lengthening memory reinforces this effect. This provides a rationale, for example, for collusive cartel-like behavior without collusive intent.

Research Area(s)

  • Evolutionary games

Citation Format(s)

Cooperation through imitation. / Bergin, James; Bernhardt, Dan.

In: Games and Economic Behavior, Vol. 67, No. 2, 11.2009, p. 376-388.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review