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The Persistence of Goodness

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  • Ashok S. Guha
  • Brishti Guha
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    Abstract

    Experimental evidence and economic examples like Basu's (1984) taxi-driver problem illustrate that many people are honest (or good) even when beyond the reach of the law, and without repeated interactions or reputation effects. We provide game-theoretic underpinnings of the level of goodness in a population. For appropriate parameter ranges, a certain level of good behaviour will emerge as an evolutionarily stable equilibrium: virtue will not be driven out of the population, even in a Darwinian world of the survival of the fittest. The long-run equilibrium proportion of good behaviour is independent of the level of intrinsic goodness.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.

    Volume (Year): 168 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 432-443

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    Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(201209)168:3_432:tpog_2.0.tx_2-s

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