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Endogenous Social Preferences, Heterogeneity and Cooperation

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  • Zarri, Luca

    ()
    (Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit)

Abstract

We set up an analytical framework focusing on the problem of interaction over time when economic agents are characterized by various types of distributional social preferences. We develop an evolutionary approach in which individual preferences are endogenous and account for the evolution of cooperation when all the players are initially entirely selfish. In particular, within motivationally heterogeneous agents embedded in a social network, we adopt a variant of the indirect evolutionary approach, where material payoffs play a critical role, and assume that a coevolutionary process occurs in which subjective preferences gradually evolve due to a key mechanism involving behavioral choices, relational intensity and degree of social openness. The simulations we carried out led to strongly consistent results with regard to the evolution of player types, the dynamics of material payoffs, the creation of significant interpersonal relationships among agents and the frequency of cooperation. In the long run, cooperation turns out to be the strategic choice that obtains the best performances, in terms of material payoffs, and "nice guys", far from finishing last, succeed in coming out ahead.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit in its series AICCON Working Papers with number 51-2008.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 24 Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:aiccon:2008_051

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Keywords: Behavioral Economics; Cooperation; Prisoner's Dilemma; Social Evolution; Heterogeneous Social Preferences; Indirect Evolutionary Approach;

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  1. Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
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  8. Fehr, Ernst & Singer, Tania, 2005. "The Neuroconomics of Mind Reading and Empathy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5128, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Fehr, Ernst & Fischbacher, Urs & Kosfeld, Michael, 2005. "Neuroeconomic Foundation of Trust and Social Preferences," CEPR Discussion Papers 5127, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Mathias Erlei, 2003. "Heterogeneous Social Preferences," TUC Working Papers in Economics 0001, Abteilung für Volkswirtschaftslehre, Technische Universität Clausthal (Department of Economics, Technical University Clausthal), revised Jun 2004.
  11. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  12. Stahl, Dale O. & Haruvy, Ernan, 2006. "Other-regarding preferences: Egalitarian warm glow, empathy, and group size," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 20-41, September.
  13. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  14. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher & Michael Kosfeld, 2005. "Neuroeconomic Foundations of Trust and Social Preferences: Initial Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 346-351, May.
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