Civilization and the evolution of short sighted agents
AbstractWe 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 InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 11765.
Date of creation: 19 Nov 2008
Date of revision:
society; breakdown; evolution; replicator; dynamic; process; civilization; conflict; institution;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
- N3 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-12-01 (All new papers)
- NEP-EVO-2008-12-01 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-GTH-2008-12-01 (Game Theory)
- NEP-HPE-2008-12-01 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
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