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Unbeatable Imitation

Duersch, Peter and Oechssler, Jörg and Schipper, Burkhard C.

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Abstract

We show that for many classes of symmetric two-player games, the simple decision rule "imitate-the-best" can hardly be beaten by any other decision rule. We provide necessary and sufficient conditions for imitation to be unbeatable and show that it can only be beaten by much in games that are of the rock-scissors-paper variety. Thus, in many interesting examples, like 2x2 games, Cournot duopoly, price competition, rent seeking, public goods games, common pool resource games, minimum effort coordination games, arms race, search, bargaining, etc., imitation cannot be beaten by much even by a very clever opponent.

Item Type: Working paper
Date Deposited: 30. Mar 2010 16:08
Date: 2010
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies > Alfred-Weber-Institut for Economics
Subjects: 330 Economics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Imitate-the-best , learning , symmetric games , relative payoffs , zero- sum games.
Schriftenreihe ID: Discussion Paper Series / University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics
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