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Evolutionary stability in a reputational model of bargaining

  • Abreu, Dilip
  • Sethi, Rajiv

A large and growing literature on reputation in games builds on the insight that the possibility of one or more players being other than fully rational can have significant effects on equilibrium behavior. This literature leaves unexplained the presence of behavioral players in the first place, and the particular forms of irrationality assumed. In this paper we endogenize departures from rationality on the basis of an evolutionary stability criterion, under the assumption that rational players incur a cost which reflects the greater sophistication of their behavior. This cost may be arbitrarily small. Within the context of a reputational model of bargaining, we show that evolutionary stability necessitates the presence of behavioral players, and places significant restrictions on the set of behavioral types that can coexist. It is consistent, however, with a broad variety of outcomes ranging from immediate agreement to complete surplus dissipation. The long run population share of behavioral types is greatest at states in which surplus dissipation is either negligible or almost complete.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 44 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 195-216

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:44:y:2003:i:2:p:195-216
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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  1. David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1999. "Reputation and Imperfect Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 238, David K. Levine.
  2. D. Stahl, 2010. "Evolution of Smart n Players," Levine's Working Paper Archive 401, David K. Levine.
  3. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1980. "Predation, Reputation, and Entry Deterrence," Discussion Papers 427, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. McKelvey, Richard D & Palfrey, Thomas R, 1992. "An Experimental Study of the Centipede Game," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 803-36, July.
  5. Conlisk, John, 1980. "Costly optimizers versus cheap imitators," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 275-293, September.
  6. Dekel, Eddie & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1992. "On the evolution of optimizing behavior," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 392-406, August.
  7. Dilip Abreu & Faruk Gul, 2000. "Bargaining and Reputation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 85-118, January.
  8. Karl H. Schlag & Dieter Balkenborg, 2001. "Evolutionarily stable sets," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 571-595.
  9. Kreps, David M. & Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Rational cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoners' dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 245-252, August.
  10. Guttman, Joel M., 1996. "Rational actors, tit-for-tat types, and the evolution of cooperation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 27-56, January.
  11. Young H. P., 1993. "An Evolutionary Model of Bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 145-168, February.
  12. Simon, Herbert A, 1978. "Rationality as Process and as Product of Thought," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 1-16, May.
  13. Chatterjee, Kalyan & Samuelson, Larry, 1987. "Bargaining with Two-Sided Incomplete Information: An Infinite Horizon Model with Alternating Offers," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 175-92, April.
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