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On the Evolution of Altruistic Ethical Rules for Siblings

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  • Ted Bergstrom

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

This paper explores the evolutionary foundations of altruism among siblings. It is intended as a contribution to the theory of the evolution of preferences, the economics of the family, and the evolutionary biology of kin selection. This paper extends the kin- selection theory of the biologist, William Hamilton, from the special case of additive benefits and costs to a more general class of games between relatives. We show that a population of siblings will resist invasion by dominant mutants if all individuals act so as to maximize a ``semi-Kantian'' utility function with respect to their siblings. We also find a separate condition that ensures that a population will resist invasion by dominant mutants. Conditions similar to ``strategic complementarity'' and ``strategic substitutability'' of strategies determine whether a population resistant to invasion by dominant mutants will also resist invasion by recessive mutants.

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Paper provided by University of Michigan, Department of Economics in its series Papers with number _023.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:michec:_023

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  1. Kandori, Michihiro & Mailath, George J & Rob, Rafael, 1993. "Learning, Mutation, and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 29-56, January.
  2. Binmore, K. & Samuelson, L., 1991. "Evolutionary Stability in Repeated games Played by Finite Automata," Papers 90-17, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  3. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1977. "Economics from a Biological Viewpoint," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 1-52, April.
  4. Vives, X., 1988. "Nash Equilibrium With Strategic Complementarities," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 107-88, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  5. Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
  6. Jack Hirshleifer, 1978. "Natural Economy Versus Political Economy," UCLA Economics Working Papers 129, UCLA Department of Economics.
  7. Robson, Arthur J, 1992. "Status, the Distribution of Wealth, Private and Social Attitudes to Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 837-57, July.
  8. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "Rationalizability, Learning, and Equilibrium in Games with Strategic Complementarities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1255-77, November.
  9. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  10. Bergstrom, T.C. & Stark, O., 1993. "How Altruism Can Prevail in an Evolutionary Environment," Papers 93-01, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  11. Binmore, Kenneth G. & Samuelson, Larry, 1992. "Evolutionary stability in repeated games played by finite automata," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 278-305, August.
  12. Friedman, Daniel, 1991. "Evolutionary Games in Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 637-66, May.
  13. Becker, Gary S, 1976. "Altruism, Egoism, and Genetic Fitness: Economics and Sociobiology," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 817-26, September.
  14. Rogers, Alan R, 1994. "Evolution of Time Preference by Natural Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 460-81, June.
  15. Jack Hirshleifer, 1977. "Economics from a Biological Viewpoint," UCLA Economics Working Papers 087, UCLA Department of Economics.
  16. Hansson, Ingemar & Stuart, Charles, 1990. "Malthusian Selection of Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 529-44, June.
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