Social Learning and the Adoption of Innovations

Charles F. Manski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Economy as an Evolving Complex System, III
Subtitle of host publicationCurrent Perspectives and Future Directions
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199850495
ISBN (Print)9780195162592
StatePublished - Oct 20 2005


  • Evolution
  • Fundamental learning limits
  • Manski
  • S-shaped pattern
  • Technological innovations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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