The Impact of Interaction and Social Learning on Aggregate Expectations
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We examine the effect of information sharing within small world networks. Agents receive a signal correlated with the state of the world (SoW) which is adjusted following discussions with neighbours. If one agent in the network, referred to as an expert, does not engage in social learning (that is they always follow their own signal) then all agents learn the SoW. It is found that volatility in the mean level of expectations varies with changes in the number of experts and the network structure. A trade-off emerges between the level of volatility and the speed at which agents learn of changes to the SoW. A second finding is that certain network structures lead to information cascades.
KeywordsSocial learning Expectations formation Network economics Information contagion Volatility
JEL ClassificationD82 D83
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