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Costly Predation and the Distribution of Competence

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  • John Conlisk

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • John Conlisk, 2001. "Costly Predation and the Distribution of Competence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 475-484, June.
  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

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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 1275-1288, December.
    2. Crawford, Vincent P, 1974. "Learning the Optimal Strategy in a Zero-Sum Game," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(5), pages 885-891, September.
    3. 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 419-440, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Stahl Dale O., 1993. "Evolution of Smartn Players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 604-617, October.
    6. 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 1622-1668, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ginger Jin & Andrew Kato, 2004. "Consumer frauds and the uninformed: Evidence from an online field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00275, The Field Experiments Website.
    2. Golman, Russell & Page, Scott E., 2010. "Individual and cultural learning in stag hunt games with multiple actions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 359-376, March.
    3. Antoci, Angelo & Gay, Antonio & Landi, Massimiliano & Sacco, Pier Luigi, 2008. "Global analysis of an expectations augmented evolutionary dynamics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 3877-3894, December.
    4. Conlisk, John, 2005. "Endogenous rationality and distributions of competence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 471-487, April.
    5. Vincent P. Crawford, 2003. "Lying for Strategic Advantage: Rational and Boundedly Rational Misrepresentation of Intentions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 133-149, March.
    6. Angelo Antoci & Massimiliano Landi, 2006. "Expectations, Animal Spirits, and Evolutionary Dynamics," Macroeconomics Working Papers 22057, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    7. Stefano Demichelis & Jorgen W. Weibull, 2008. "Language, Meaning, and Games: A Model of Communication, Coordination, and Evolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1292-1311, September.
    8. Heller, Yuval & Mohlin, Erik, 2014. "Coevolution of Deception and Preferences: Darwin and Nash Meet Machiavelli," MPRA Paper 58255, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Demichelis, Stefano & Weibull, Jörgen, 2006. "Efficiency, communication and honesty," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 645, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 28 Nov 2006.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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