IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Homo Moralis—Preference Evolution Under Incomplete Information and Assortative Matching

  • Ingela Alger
  • Jörgen W. Weibull

What preferences will prevail in a society of rational individuals when preference evolution is driven by their success in terms of resulting payoffs? We show that when individuals’ preferences are their private information, a convex combinations of selfishness and morality stand out as evolutionarily stable. We call individuals with such preferences homo moralis. At one end of the spectrum is homo oeconomicus, who acts so as to maximize his or her material payoff. At the opposite end is homo kantiensis, who does what would be “the right thing to do,” in terms of material payoffs, if all others would do likewise. We show that the stable degree of morality - the weight placed on the moral goal - equals the index of assortativity in the matching process. The motivation of homo moralis is arguably compatible with how people often reason, and the induced behavior agrees with pro-social behaviors observed in many laboratory experiments.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.3982/
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Econometrica.

Volume (Year): 81 (2013)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 2269-2302

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:81:y:2013:i:6:p:2269-2302
Contact details of provider: Phone: 1 212 998 3820
Fax: 1 212 995 4487
Web page: http://www.econometricsociety.org/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: https://www.econometricsociety.org/publications/econometrica/access/ordering-back-issues Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. anonymous, 1999. "Is the international economic crisis over?," EconSouth, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q3, pages 14-19.
  2. anonymous, 1999. "Western economic developments," Western economic developments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jan.
  3. ., 1999. "Canada's Economic Development and Integration," Chapters, in: North American Economic Integration, chapter 5 Edward Elgar.
  4. Aviad Heifetz & Chris Shannon & Yossi Spiegel, 2003. "What to Maximize If You Must," Game Theory and Information 0303002, EconWPA.
  5. S. Huck & J. Oechssler, 1996. "The Indirect Evolutionary Approach To Explaining Fair Allocations," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1996,13, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  6. Fershtman, C. & Weiss, Y., 1996. "Social Rewards, Externalities and Stable preferences," Discussion Paper 1996-28, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Bergstrom, Theodore C, 1995. "On the Evolution of Altruistic Ethical Rules for Siblings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 58-81, March.
  8. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869, August.
  9. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
  10. anonymous, 1999. "Southeast set to sustain economic pace in 2000," EconSouth, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q4, pages 8-23.
  11. anonymous, 1999. "Western economic developments," Western economic developments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Aug.
  12. ., 1999. "Mexico's Economic Development," Chapters, in: North American Economic Integration, chapter 6 Edward Elgar.
  13. Anonymous, 1999. "Contents of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 20," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 20(3), May.
  14. anonymous, 1999. "Western economic developments," Western economic developments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Dec.
  15. Hauk, Esther & Sáez-Martí, María, 2001. "On the Cultural Transmission of Corruption," Working Paper Series 564, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  16. Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2004. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 857-869, September.
  17. Ingela Alger, 2009. "Public Goods Games, Altruism, and Evolution," Carleton Economic Papers 09-06, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 01 Feb 2010.
  18. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg, 2006. "Raising Children to Work Hard: Altruism, Work Norms, and Social Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1473-1503, November.
  19. Ingela Alger, 2010. "Corrigendum: Public Goods Games, Altruism, and Evolution," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(6), pages 1135-1135, December.
  20. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1977. "Economics from a Biological Viewpoint," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 1-52, April.
  21. Ingela Alger, 2010. "Public Goods Games, Altruism, and Evolution," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(4), pages 789-813, 08.
  22. anonymous, 1999. "Western economic developments," Western economic developments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  23. Jack Hirshleifer, 1977. "Economics from a Biological Viewpoint," UCLA Economics Working Papers 087, UCLA Department of Economics.
  24. Anonymous, 1999. "New York Economic Handbook 2000," EB Series 186454, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  25. Possajennikov, Alex, 2000. "On the evolutionary stability of altruistic and spiteful preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 125-129, May.
  26. anonymous, 1999. "Western economic developments," Western economic developments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue May.
  27. anonymous, 1999. "Western economic developments," Western economic developments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Sep.
  28. Ok, Efe A. & Vega-Redondo, Fernando, 2001. "On the Evolution of Individualistic Preferences: An Incomplete Information Scenario," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 231-254, April.
  29. Becker, Gary S, 1976. "Altruism, Egoism, and Genetic Fitness: Economics and Sociobiology," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 817-26, September.
  30. Anonymous, 1999. "Contents of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 21," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 21(3), December.
  31. ., 1999. "North American Economic Integration: Trial by Fire," Chapters, in: North American Economic Integration, chapter 7 Edward Elgar.
  32. anonymous, 1999. "Western economic developments," Western economic developments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  33. Jennifer Zelmer, 2003. "Linear Public Goods Experiments: A Meta-Analysis," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 299-310, November.
  34. ., 1999. "The Global Economy after World War II," Chapters, in: North American Economic Integration, chapter 3 Edward Elgar.
  35. MINELLI, Enrico & POLEMARCHAKIS, Heracles, 1999. "Nash-Walras equilibria of a large economy," CORE Discussion Papers 1999043, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  36. anonymous, 1999. "Western economic developments," Western economic developments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:81:y:2013:i:6:p:2269-2302. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.