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Costly Predation and the Distribution of Competence

  • John Conlisk
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    An evolutionary game model shows how an equilibrium distribution of competence may evolve when members of a population prey on one another, but when predatory competence is costly to acquire. Under one interpretation, the competence distribution is an endogenously determined distribution of bounded rationality. An example shows how "tricksters" and "suckers" might coexist in the long run. The analysis leads to a curious result about a mixed equilibrium for a symmetric, zero-sum game. An increase in the costs of one or more competence levels has exactly zero effect on the fraction of the population at those levels.

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.91.3.475
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    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 91 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 3 (June)
    Pages: 475-484

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:91:y:2001:i:3:p:475-484
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.91.3.475
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    1. Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1995. "Swords or Plowshares? A Theory of the Security of Claims to Property," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1275-88, December.
    2. D. Stahl, 2010. "Evolution of Smart n Players," Levine's Working Paper Archive 401, David K. Levine.
    3. Crawford, Vincent P, 1974. "Learning the Optimal Strategy in a Zero-Sum Game," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(5), pages 885-91, September.
    4. Machina, Mark J, 1989. "Dynamic Consistency and Non-expected Utility Models of Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 1622-68, December.
    5. Conlisk, John, 1993. "Adaptation in games : Two solutions to the Crawford puzzle," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 25-50, September.
    6. de Palma, Andre & Myers, Gordon M & Papageorgiou, Yorgos Y, 1994. "Rational Choice under an Imperfect Ability to Choose," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 419-40, June.
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