Rent, risk, and replication: Preference adaptation in winner-take-all markets
We study the evolution of an economy where agents who are heterogeneous with respect to risk attitudes can either earn a certain income or enter a risky rent-seeking contest. We assume that agents behave rationally given their preferences, but that the population distribution of preferences evolves over time in response to material payoffs. We show that, in particular, initial distributions with full support converge to stationary states where all types may still be present, risk lovers specialize in rentseeking, and the available rents are perfectly dissipated.
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