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Civilization and the evolution of short sighted agents

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Author Info

  • Basuchoudhary, Atin
  • Allen, Sam
  • Siemers, Troy

Abstract

We model an assurance game played within a population with two types of individuals -- short-sighted and foresighted. Foresighted people have a lower discount rate than short sighted people. These phenotypes interact with each other. We define the persistent interaction of foresighted people with other foresighted people as a critical element of civilization while the interaction of short sighted people with other short sighted people as critical to the failure of civilization. We show that whether the short sighted phenotype will be an evolutionary stable strategy (and thus lead to the collapse of civilization) depends on the initial proportion of short sighted people relative to people with foresight as well as their relative discount rates. Further we explore some comparative static results that connect the probability of the game continuing and the relative size of the two discount rates to the likelihood that civilization will collapse.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 11765.

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Date of creation: 19 Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11765

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Related research

Keywords: society; breakdown; evolution; replicator; dynamic; process; civilization; conflict; institution;

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  1. Robert J. Aumann, 2010. "Correlated Equilibrium as an expression of Bayesian Rationality," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000377, David K. Levine.
  2. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
  3. George J. Mailath, . ""Do People Play Nash Equilibrium? Lessons From Evolutionary Game Theory''," CARESS Working Papres 98-01, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  4. Jorgen W. Weibull, 1997. "Evolutionary Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262731215, December.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Short (sighted) people got no reason to live
    by Nicholas Gruen in Club Troppo on 2008-12-02 13:07:16

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