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The Social Selection of Flexible and Rigid Agents

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  • Harrington, Joseph E, Jr

Abstract

People differ in how they respond to their environment. Some individuals treat each situation as unique and tailor their behavior accordingly while others respond in the same manner regardless of the situation. The authors' objective is to explore how social systems select from such a heterogeneous population. A class of simple hierarchical systems is considered which encompasses some features of corporations and electoral systems. A selection process operates on this population which results in successful agents going on to compete against equally successful agents for further advancement. The author characterizes the population dynamics and the type of agent that ultimately dominates. Copyright 1998 by American Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 88 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 63-82

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:88:y:1998:i:1:p:63-82

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Cited by:
  1. José A. García Martínez, 2005. "Selection And Efficiency In Hierarchical Social Systems," Working Papers. Serie AD 2005-35, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  2. Garcia-Martinez, Jose A., 2010. "Selectivity in hierarchical social systems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(6), pages 2471-2482, November.
  3. Jose A. Garcia-Martinez, 2010. "The Role of Selectivity in Hierarchical Social Systems," Working Papers 2010-05, Universidad de Málaga, Department of Economic Theory, Málaga Economic Theory Research Center.
  4. Harrington, Joseph Jr., 1999. "The Equilibrium Level of Rigidity in a Hierarchy," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 189-202, August.
  5. Darrell Duffie & Yeneng Sun, 2011. "The Exact Law of Large Numbers for Independent Random Matching," NBER Working Papers 17280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Vega-Redondo, Fernando, 2000. "Unfolding Social Hierarchies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 177-203, February.
  7. Alos-Ferrer, C., 1998. "Dynamic Systems with a Continuum of Randomly Matched Agents," Papers 9801, Washington St. Louis - School of Business and Political Economy.
  8. Garcia-Martinez, Jose A., 2012. "An Unexpected Role of Local Selectivity in Social Promotion," MPRA Paper 36324, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Myong-Hun Chang & Joseph E Harrington Jr, 2004. "Agent-Based Models of Organizations," Economics Working Paper Archive 515, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  10. Callander, Steven & Wilkie, Simon, 2007. "Lies, damned lies, and political campaigns," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 262-286, August.
  11. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2011. "Cultural Diversity, Geographical Isolation, and the Origin of the Wealth of Nations," Working Papers 2011-16, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  12. Inderst, Roman & Mueller, Holger M & Wärneryd, Karl, 2002. "Distributional Conflict in Organisations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3315, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Cowan,Robin & Jonard,Nicolas, 2003. "Social Sorting," Research Memorandum 035, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  14. Andreas Ramsauer, 1999. "Heterogeneous Discount Factors in an Assignment Model with Search Frictions," Vienna Economics Papers 9807, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.

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