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Inequality Aversion in a Variety of Games - An Indirect Evolutionary Analysis -

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  • Werner Güth
  • Stefan Napel

Abstract

The indirect evolutionary approach integrates forward-looking evaluation of opportunities and adaptation in the light of the past. Subjective motivation determines behavior, but long-run evolutionary success of motivational types depends on objective factors only. This can justify intrinsic aversion to inequality in reward allocation games, though earlier analysis has typically been restricted to a particular game. We consider a more complex environment by combining two games that – studied in isolation – yield opposite implications for inequality aversion. Persistent divergence between intrinsic motivation and true material success is possible. It depends in the type of inequality aversion considered and, importantly, agents’ ability to discriminate between the qualitatively different games they face.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group in its series Papers on Strategic Interaction with number 2002-23.

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Length: 22 pages
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Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2002-23

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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Georg Kirchsteiger, 1994. "The role of envy in ultimatum games," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5925, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Guth, Werner, 1995. "An Evolutionary Approach to Explaining Cooperative Behavior by Reciprocal Incentives," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 323-44.
  4. Hammerstein, Peter & Selten, Reinhard, 1994. "Game theory and evolutionary biology," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 28, pages 929-993 Elsevier.
  5. Jorgen W. Weibull, 1997. "Evolutionary Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262731215, December.
  6. Gale, John & Binmore, Kenneth G. & Samuelson, Larry, 1995. "Learning to be imperfect: The ultimatum game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 56-90.
  7. Possajennikov, Alex, 2000. "On the evolutionary stability of altruistic and spiteful preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 125-129, May.
  8. Ok, Efe A. & Vega-Redondo, Fernando, 2001. "On the Evolution of Individualistic Preferences: An Incomplete Information Scenario," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 231-254, April.
  9. Bolton, Gary E, 1991. "A Comparative Model of Bargaining: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1096-136, December.
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  11. S. Huck & J. Oechssler, 1996. "The Indirect Evolutionary Approach To Explaining Fair Allocations," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1996,13, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  12. Samuelson, Larry, 2001. "Introduction to the Evolution of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 225-230, April.
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  14. Ely, Jeffrey C. & Yilankaya, Okan, 2001. "Nash Equilibrium and the Evolution of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 255-272, April.
  15. Werner G, th & Bezalel Peleg, 2001. "When will payoff maximization survive? An indirect evolutionary analysis," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 11(5), pages 479-499.
  16. Geanakoplos, John & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1989. "Psychological games and sequential rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 60-79, March.
  17. Napel, Stefan, 2003. "Aspiration adaptation in the ultimatum minigame," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 86-106, April.
  18. Werner Güth & Hartmut Kliemt & Stefan Napel, . "Wie Du mir, so ich Dir! - Ökonomische Theorie und Experiment am Beispiel der Reziprozität," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-19, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  19. repec:att:wimass:9325 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Robertas Zubrickas, 2009. "How Exposure to Markets Can Favor Inequity Averse Preferences," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000193, David K. Levine.
  2. Anders Poulsen & Odile Poulsen, 2009. "Altruism and welfare when preferences are endogenous," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 09-02, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  3. repec:hal:ciredw:halshs-00275386 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Berninghaus, Siegfried K. & Korth, Christian & Napel, Stefan, 2003. "Reciprocity - an indirect evolutionary analysis," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 03-32, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  5. Susanne Büchner & Werner Güth & Luis Miller, 2011. "Individually selecting among conventions - an evolutionary and experimental analysis," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 285-301, May.
  6. Werner Güth, 2009. "Optimal gelaufen, einfach zufrieden oder unüberlegt gehandelt? Zur Theorie (un)eingeschränkt rationalen Entscheidens," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(s1), pages 75-100, 05.
  7. Sven Fischer, 2005. "Inequality Aversion in Ultimatum Games with Asymmetric Conflict Payoffs - A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis -," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-36, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.

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