The Evolution of Inequality
AbstractUnder what conditions can class divisions characterized by high levels of inequality be designated evolutionary universals, using Talcott Parsons's term to refer to social arrangements which have emerged independently and persisted in a wide variety of environments? To explore this question, I represent economic institutions as bargaining conventions and then in order to better capture the historically observed processes of institutional evolution I extend recent models in stochastic evolutionary game theory in four ways: i) non-best response (idiosyncratic) play is modeled as intentional rather than accidental, ii) non best response play is coordinated through a process of collective action, iii) substantial rates of non-best response play are introduced, and iv) the sub-populations making up the classes may be of different sizes. In this model, contrary to the conventional formulation, highly unequal and economically inefficient institutions may be stochastically stable states in the implied dynamical system, while more egalitarian institutions may prove ephemeral.
Download InfoTo our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Santa Fe Institute in its series Working Papers with number 01-10-060.
Date of creation: Oct 2001
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 1399 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Web page: http://www.santafe.edu/sfi/publications/working-papers.html
More information through EDIRC
Stochastically stable state; evolutionary universals; collective action; conventions; inequality;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2001-10-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2001-10-16 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-EVO-2001-10-16 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2001-10-16 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2001-10-01 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
- NEP-PKE-2001-10-16 (Post Keynesian Economics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.