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The coevolution of morality and legal institutions: an indirect evolutionary approach

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  • G TH, WERNER
  • OCKENFELS, AXEL

Abstract

Moral behavior and legal institutions coevolve. While evolutionary game theory has often analyzed the evolution of moral behavior within given institutional rules, it has not examined the coevolution of moral preferences and different institutional aspects of the decision environment. By an indirect evolutionary approach, we analyze the coevolution of moral preferences (in the sense of trustworthiness) and legal institutions like court rulings and legal insurance. We find that preference detection capabilities crowd in morality and can thus render useless the role of courts and legal insurance as public institutions. Legal institutions become crucial for the emergence of morality, however, when information about preference types is not available. This holds true even when courts do not have superior detection capabilities than other agents.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Journal of Institutional Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2005)
Issue (Month): 02 (December)
Pages: 155-174

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jinsec:v:1:y:2005:i:02:p:155-174_00

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  1. Kirstein, Roland & Schmidtchen, Dieter, 1997. "Judicial Detection Skill and Contractual Compliance," CSLE Discussion Paper Series 97-07, Saarland University, CSLE - Center for the Study of Law and Economics.
  2. Werner Güth & Axel Ockenfels, 2002. "The Coevolution of Trust and Institutions in Anonymous and Non-anonymous Communities," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-07, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  3. Selten, Reinhard, 1983. "Evolutionary stability in extensive two-person games," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 269-363, September.
  4. Bar-Gill, O. & Fershtman, C., 2001. "The Limit of Public Policy: Endogenous Preferences," Papers 2001-5, Tel Aviv.
  5. Frank, Robert H, 1987. "If Homo Economicus Could Choose His Own Utility Function, Would He Want One with a Conscience?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 593-604, September.
  6. Guth, W. & Kliemt, H., 1993. "Competition or Co-Operation," Papers 9339, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  7. Geoffrey Brennan & Werner Güth & Hartmut Kliemt, 2003. "Trust in the Shadow of the Courts," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 159(1), pages 16-, March.
  8. Güth, Werner & Ockenfels, Axel, 1999. "Evolutionary norm enforcement," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,84, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  9. Ockenfels, Axel & Selten, Reinhard, 2000. "An Experiment on the Hypothesis of Involuntary Truth-Signalling in Bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 90-116, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Aviad Heifetz & Chris Shannon & Yossi Spiegel, 2005. "The Dynamic Evolution of Preferences," Discussion Papers 1415, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. HEIFETZ, Aviad & SHANNON, Chris & SPIEGEL, Yossi, 2003. "What to maximize if you must," CORE Discussion Papers 2003047, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Wolfgang Leininger & Axel Ockenfels, 2007. "The Penalty-Duel and Institutional Design: Is there a Neeskens-Effect?," Working Paper Series in Economics 34, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
  4. Eyal Winter & Ignacio Garcia-Jurado & Jose Mendez-Naya & Luciano Mendez-Naya, 2009. "Mental Equilibrium and Rational Emotions," Discussion Paper Series dp521, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  5. Axel Ockenfels, 2009. "Marktdesign und Experimentelle Wirtschaftsforschung," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(s1), pages 31-53, 05.
  6. Axel Ockenfels, 2002. "New Institutional Structures on the Internet: The Economic Design of Online Auctions," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-08, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  7. Axel Ockenfels, 2002. "Reputationsmechanismen auf Internet-Marktplattformen - Theorie und Empirie -," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-46, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  8. Werner Güth & Axel Ockenfels, 2002. "The Coevolution of Trust and Institutions in Anonymous and Non-anonymous Communities," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-07, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  9. Safarzynska, Karolina & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2010. "Evolving power and environmental policy: Explaining institutional change with group selection," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 743-752, February.

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