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Models of cultural and institutional path dependence

Research Achievements

Models of cultural and institutional path dependence

For the past five years we've conducted research that combines mathematical, computational, and experimental methods. First, we ran computational models that show that behavior can spill from one context to another -- if people are interacting in one strategic context, they may use those same behaviors in another context. Thus, how well an institution performs may be influenced by what institutions already exist.

In grandest terms, the computational models presented the hope of formal models of cultural and institutional path dependence. In a forthcoming paper in Rationality and Society -- IGERT trainees and faculty derived mathematical results that show how coordinated and consistent behavior emerges, further supporting our computational findings. Finally, we ran experiments and have two working papers that show support for our theoretical results in the laboratory.