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The Cognitive Origins of Social Stratification

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  • Robert Hoffmann

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Abstract

In evolutionary psychology, cultural phenomena are explained with reference to evolved psychological processes. This paper presents an economic approach to explore this link by demonstrating how social stratification can arise in game-playing populations as a result of social categorisation of and inference from arbitrary agent traits. The computer simulation of the model demonstrates that agents' increasing ability to categorise opponents in the chicken game generates an increasing number of social groups whose members share commonality of fate both in terms of opponent behaviour and payoff levels. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10614-006-9046-2
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Society for Computational Economics in its journal Computational Economics.

Volume (Year): 28 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 233-249

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Handle: RePEc:kap:compec:v:28:y:2006:i:3:p:233-249

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100248
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Keywords: social cognition; social stratification; categorisation; chicken game;

References

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  1. Chaim Fershtman & Uri Gneezy, 2001. "Discrimination In A Segmented Society: An Experimental Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 351-377, February.
  2. Chuah, Swee-Hoon & Hoffmann, Robert & Jones, Martin & Williams, Geoffrey, 2007. "Do cultures clash? Evidence from cross-national ultimatum game experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 35-48, September.
  3. Ashraf, Nava & Bohnet, Iris & Piankov, Nikita, 2003. "Is Trust a Bad Investment?," Working Paper Series rwp03-047, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  4. Herbert A. Simon, 1996. "The Sciences of the Artificial, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262691914, December.
  5. Mailath, George J., 1992. "Introduction: Symposium on evolutionary game theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-277, August.
  6. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1991. "Adaptive and sophisticated learning in normal form games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 82-100, February.
  7. Robert Axtell, Joshua M. Epstein, & H. Peyton Young, . "The Emergence of Economic Classes in an Agent-based Bargaining Model," Computing in Economics and Finance 1997 61, Society for Computational Economics.
  8. Berger, Ulrich, 2005. "Fictitious play in 2 x n games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 120(2), pages 139-154, February.
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