Ants, Rationality, and Recruitment
Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1993, 108, 1, 137-156
KIRMAN, Alan, Ants, Rationality, and Recruitment, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1993, 108, 1, 137-156 - http://hdl.handle.net/1814/16771
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
This paper offers an explanation of behavior that puzzled entomologists and economists. Ants, faced with two identical food sources, were observed to concentrate more on one of these, but after a period they would turn their attention to the other. The same phenomenon has been observed in humans choosing between restaurants. After discussing the nature of foraging and recruitment behavior in ants, a simple model of stochastic recruitment is suggested. This explains the ''herding'' and ''epidemics'' described in the literature on financial markets as corresponding to the equilibrium distribution of a stochastic process rather than to switching between multiple equilibria.
Cadmus permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/1814/16771
Full-text via DOI: 10.2307/2118498
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