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The nature of social learning: Experimental evidence

Stefan P. Penczynski

European Economic Review, 2017, vol. 94, issue C, 148-165

Abstract: In the wide economic literature on social learning, many types of behavior – rational and non-rational – have been proposed. I suggest a level-k model that unifies many of them in one framework. This paper analyzes experimental data that is able to distinguish between levels of reasoning at the individual level. It relies on rich, existing data from Çelen and Kariv (2004) as well as new experimental data that includes written accounts of reasoning from incentivized intra-team communication. Three datasets provide consistent evidence that naïve inference in form of the best response to truthful play is the most common approach to social learning. The empirical type distributions feature heterogeneity similar to other level-k applications.

Keywords: Social learning; Levels of reasoning; naïve inference (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D82 D83 D84 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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