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Non-monotone social learning

Min Zhang

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2021, vol. 185, issue C, 565-579

Abstract: We revisit the canonical binary-state model of social learning to investigate the possibility of non-monotone learning: ceteris paribus, with some predecessor(s) switching to actions that reveal greater confidence in one state of the world, agents nevertheless become more confident in the other. A necessary and sufficient condition for non-monotone learning is provided in an illustrative setting where agents are either uninformed or partially informed by binary private signals. In a general setting with continuous private signals, we obtain a sufficient condition for non-monotone learning that does not rely on the shape of the underlying information structures apart from a couple of simple boundary requirements. As a result, a social learning process that completes eventually can be well approximated in a way such that non-monotone learning and anti-imitation are bound to happen.

Keywords: Anti-Imitation; Information structure; Social learning (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2021.03.009

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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