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Evolution of preferences in an exchange economy


  • Chang, Jannet
  • Stauber, Ronald


We propose an evolutionary theory of how economic environments shape individual preferences. Consumption is assumed to have both a standard utilitarian payoff, and a biological payoff which determines long-term survival. We show that heterogeneous preference types can co-exist in equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Chang, Jannet & Stauber, Ronald, 2009. "Evolution of preferences in an exchange economy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 131-134, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:103:y:2009:i:3:p:131-134

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2002. "Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1133-1191.
    2. Samuelson, Larry, 2001. "Analogies, Adaptation, and Anomalies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 320-366, April.
    3. Galor, Oded, 2005. "From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-293 Elsevier.
    4. Ely, Jeffrey C. & Yilankaya, Okan, 2001. "Nash Equilibrium and the Evolution of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 255-272, April.
    5. 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.
    6. Oded Galor & David N. Weil, 1998. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition," Working Papers 98-3, Brown University, Department of Economics, revised 19 Aug 1998.
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    Cited by:

    1. Naimzada, Ahmad & Pireddu, Marina, 2016. "Endogenous evolution of heterogeneous consumers preferences: Multistability and coexistence between groups," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 22-26.


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