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Co-evolution of Preferences and Information in Simple Games of Trust


  • Werner Güth
  • Hartmut Kliemt
  • Bezalel Peleg


In standard rational choice modelling decisions are made according to given information and preferences. In the model presented here the `information technology' of individual decision-makers as well as their preferences evolve in a dynamic process. In this process decisions are made rationally by players who differ in their informational as well as in their preference type. Relative success of alternative decisions feeds back on the type composition of the population which in turn influences rational decision-making. An indirect evolutionary analysis of an elementary yet important basic game of trust shows that under certain parameter constellations the population dynamics of the evolutionary process specify a unique completely mixed rest point. However, as opposed to previous studies of preference formation in the game of trust there is no convergence to but only circumventing the rest point if the informational status of individuals evolves rather than being chosen strategically. Copyright Verein fü Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2000.

Suggested Citation

  • Werner Güth & Hartmut Kliemt & Bezalel Peleg, 2000. "Co-evolution of Preferences and Information in Simple Games of Trust," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(1), pages 83-110, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:1:y:2000:i:1:p:83-110

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre Courtois & Tarik Tazdaït, 2012. "Learning to trust strangers: an evolutionary perspective," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 367-383, April.
    2. Friedman, Daniel & Singh, Nirvikar, 2009. "Equilibrium vengeance," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 813-829, July.
    3. Anders Poulsen & Gert Svendsen, 2005. "Social Capital and Endogenous Preferences," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 171-196, April.
    4. Thomas Gehrig & Werner Güth & René Levínský, 2013. "On insider trading and belief evolution," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 767-781, September.
    5. Friedman, Daniel & Singh, Nirvikar, 2004. "Vengefulness Evolves in Small Groups," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0xp29105, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    6. Guth, Werner & Kliemt, Hartmut, 2004. "Evolutionary parallelism versus co-evolution: a comment on Joseph Henrich," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 75-79, January.
    7. Stahl, Dale O. & Haruvy, Ernan, 2008. "Level-n bounded rationality in two-player two-stage games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 41-61, January.
    8. Guttman, Joel M., 2013. "On the evolution of conditional cooperation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 15-34.
    9. Alex Possajennikov, 2004. "Two-Speed Evolution of Strategies and Preferences In Symmetric Games," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 57(3), pages 227-263, November.
    10. Vogt, Carsten, 2000. "The evolution of cooperation in Prisoners' Dilemma with an endogenous learning mutant," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 347-373, July.
    11. Fali Huang, 2007. "Building Social Trust: A Human-Capital Approach," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 163(4), pages 552-573, December.
    12. Ernan Haruvy & Dale Stahl, 2004. "Level-n Bounded Rationality on a Level Playing Field of Sequential Games," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 126, Econometric Society.
    13. Werner Güth & Hartmut Kliemt & Georg v. Wangenheim, 2006. "Verstehen, Verständigung, Vertrag - Ökonomik als Geistes-, Natur- und Staatswissenschaft," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-12, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    14. Steffen Huck & Georg Kirchsteiger & Jörg Oechssler, 2005. "Learning to like what you have - explaining the endowment effect," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 689-702, July.
    15. Marie-Laure Cabon-Dhersin & Shyama Ramani, 2005. "Does trust matter for R&D cooperation? A game theoretic examination," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 57(2), pages 143-180, March.
    16. Bolle, Friedel & Kaehler, Jessica, 2007. "Experimenters' choices of trust experiments and their consequence for meta-studies," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 865-874, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness


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