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Natural selection and social preferences

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Author Info

  • Weibull, Jörgen

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Salomonsson, Marcus

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

Abstract

A large number of individuals are randomly matched into groups, where each group plays a finite symmetric game. Individuals breed true. The expected number of surviving offspring depends on own material payoff, but may also, due to cooperative breeding and/or reproductive competition, depend on the material payoffs to other group members. The induced population dynamic is equivalent with the replicator dynamic for a game with payoffs derived from those in the original game. We apply this selection dynamic to a number of examples, including prisoners' dilemma games with and without a punishment option, coordination games, and hawk-dove games. For each of these, we compare the outcomes with those obtained under the standard replicator dynamic. By way of a revealed-preference argument, our selection dynamic can explain certain "altruistic" and "spiteful" behaviors that are consistent with individuals having social preferences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 588.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 28 Feb 2005
Date of revision: 20 Jul 2005
Publication status: Published in Journal of Theoretical Biology, 2006, pages 79-92.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0588

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Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-(0)8-736 90 00
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Web page: http://www.hhs.se/
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Keywords: Group selection; social preferences; altruism; fairness.;

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References

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  1. Sethi, Rajiv & Somanathan, E., 2001. "Preference Evolution and Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 273-297, April.
  2. 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.
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  9. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
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  12. Bester, Helmut & Guth, Werner, 1998. "Is altruism evolutionarily stable?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 193-209, February.
  13. Binmore, K. & Samuelson, L., 1997. "Evolutionary Drift and Equilibrium Selection," Working papers 9729r, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  14. 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.
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  16. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2003. "Altruistic Punishment in Humans," Microeconomics 0305006, EconWPA.
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  18. Nachbar, J H, 1990. ""Evolutionary" Selection Dynamics in Games: Convergence and Limit Properties," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 59-89.
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  20. Henrich, Joseph, 2004. "Cultural group selection, coevolutionary processes and large-scale cooperation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 3-35, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Galor, Oded & Michalopoulos, Stelios, 2006. "The Evolution of Entrepreneurial Spirit and the Process of Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 6022, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Ingela Alger & Jörgen W. Weibull, 2006. "Altruism and Climate," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 643, Boston College Department of Economics.
  3. Oded Galor & Stelios Michalopoulos, 2006. "Darwinian Evolution of Entrepreneurial Spirit and the Process of Development," Working Papers 2006-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.

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