Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The Evolution of Inequality

Contents:

Author Info

  • Samuel Bowles
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Under 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 Info

    To 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 Info

    Paper provided by Santa Fe Institute in its series Working Papers with number 01-10-060.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: Oct 2001
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:01-10-060

    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

    Related research

    Keywords: Stochastically stable state; evolutionary universals; collective action; conventions; inequality;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:01-10-060. See general 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 you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.