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Diffusion by imitation: the importance of targeting agents

Nikolas Tsakas

No 3, Gecomplexity Discussion Paper Series from Action IS1104 "The EU in the new complex geography of economic systems: models, tools and policy evaluation"

Abstract: We study the optimal targeting strategy of a planner who seeks to maximize the diffusion of an action in a society where agents imitate successful past behavior of others. The agents face individual decision problems under uncertainty and interact locally, so that each agent affects only his neighbors. We find that the optimal targeting strategy depends on two parameters: (i) the likelihood of the action being more successful than its alternative and (ii) the planner’s patience. More specifically, for an infinitely patient planner the optimal strategy is to concentrate all the targeted agents in one connected group when her preferred action has higher probability of being more successful than its alternative; whereas it is optimal to spread them across the population when this probability is lower. Interestingly, for an impatient planner the optimal targeting strategy is exactly the opposite.

Keywords: Targeting; Diffusion; Imitation; Local Interactions. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D83 D85 M37 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 36 pages
Date: 2014-11, Revised 2014-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-sea
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

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http://www.gecomplexity-cost.eu/repec/cst/wpaper/geco_dp_3.pdf First version, 2014 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Diffusion by imitation: The importance of targeting agents (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Diffusion by imitation: The importance of targeting agents (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Diffusion by Imitation: The Importance of Targeting Agents (2013) Downloads
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