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The Economy as an Evolving Complex System, IIICurrent Perspectives and Future Directions$
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Lawrence E. Blume and Steven N. Durlauf

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195162592

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195162592.001.0001

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Social Learning and the Adoption of Innovations

Social Learning and the Adoption of Innovations

Chapter:
(p.31) Social Learning and the Adoption of Innovations
Source:
The Economy as an Evolving Complex System, III
Author(s):

Charles F. Manski

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195162592.003.0003

This chapter studies the evolution of technological innovations when agents face “fundamental” learning limits: these limits derive from the idea that certain features of the environment in which innovations are evaluated may not be statistically identified, forcing agents to make decisions in the face of ambiguity. It further assumes that agents are rational decision makers, but places the agents in a context in which alternative perspectives on the environment are observationally equivalent. Manski shows that this environment can lead to complex innovation dynamics and can replicate the classical S-shaped pattern of innovation adoption.

Keywords:   evolution, technological innovations, fundamental learning limits, Manski, S-shaped pattern

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