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Band-Aids Versus Structural Corrections

Abstract

Alex Mesoudi observes that the “treadmill” model for relating average skill level achieved through imitation to demogaphic factors implies, incorrectly, that skill levels will increase without bound.   Rather than correcting the structural problem with the model, he applies a “Band-Aid” in the form of an imitation cost to the model to force the average skill level to reach a plateau.  The model, however, incorrectly assumes that the imitation bias remains constant with increasing average skill level and, when corrected, average skill level will reach a plateau even without the added cost factor. 

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