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Long-Run Selection and the Work Ethic

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  • Jens Josephson
  • Karl Wärneryd

Abstract

That individuals contribute in social dilemma interactions even when contributing is costly is a well-established observation in the experimental literature. Since a contributor is always strictly worse off than a non-contributor the question is raised if an intrinsic motivation to contribute can survive in an evolutionary setting. Using recent results on deterministic approximation of stochastic evolutionary dynamics we give conditions for equilibria with a positive number of contributors to be selected in the long run.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1319.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1319

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Keywords: work ethic; evolution; group selection; public goods; stochastic dynamics;

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  1. Theodore C. Bergstrom, 2002. "Evolution of Social Behavior: Individual and Group Selection," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 67-88, Spring.
  2. Jose Apesteguia & Steffen Huck & Jörg Oechssler, 2003. "Imitation - Theory and Experimental Evidence," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse20_2003, University of Bonn, Germany, revised Aug 2004.
  3. George J. Mailath, 1998. "Do People Play Nash Equilibrium? Lessons from Evolutionary Game Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1347-1374, September.
  4. Arthur J. Robson, 2002. "Evolution and Human Nature," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 89-106, Spring.
  5. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
  6. Schlag, Karl H., 1994. "Why Imitate, and if so, How? Exploring a Model of Social Evolution," Discussion Paper Serie B 296, University of Bonn, Germany.
  7. Armen A. Alchian & Harold Demsetz, 1971. "Production, Information Costs and Economic Organizations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 10A, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Benaim, Michel & Weibull, Jörgen W., 2000. "Deterministic Approximation of Stochastic Evolution in Games," Working Paper Series 534, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 30 Oct 2001.
  9. Rachel Croson & Melanie Marks, 2000. "Step Returns in Threshold Public Goods: A Meta- and Experimental Analysis," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 239-259, March.
  10. Kandori, Michihiro & Mailath, George J & Rob, Rafael, 1993. "Learning, Mutation, and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 29-56, January.
  11. Schlag, Karl H., 1999. "Which one should I imitate?," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 493-522, May.
  12. David P. Myatt & Chris Wallace, 2008. "When Does One Bad Apple Spoil the Barrel? An Evolutionary Analysis of Collective Action," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(2), pages 499-527.
  13. Karl H. Schlag, . "Why Imitate, and if so, How? A Bounded Rational Approach to Multi- Armed Bandits," ELSE working papers 028, ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and Social Evolution.
  14. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1988. "Private incentives in social dilemmas : The effects of incomplete information and altruism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 309-332, April.
  15. Sjostrom, Tomas & Weitzman, Martin L., 1996. "Competition and the evolution of efficiency," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 25-43, July.
  16. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Rosenthal, Howard, 1984. "Participation and the provision of discrete public goods: a strategic analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 171-193, July.
  17. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Nicolas Olsson-Yaouzis, 2012. "An evolutionary dynamic of revolutions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(3), pages 497-515, June.

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