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Why evolution does not always lead to an optimal signaling system


  • Pawlowitsch, Christina


This paper gives a complete characterization of neutrally stable strategies for sender-receiver games in the style of Lewis, or Nowak and Krakauer [Lewis, D., 1969. Convention: A Philosophical Study. Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, MA; Nowak, M., Krakauer, D., 1999. The evolution of language. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 96, 8028-8033]. Due to the dynamic implications of neutral stability, the replicator dynamics of this model does not necessarily lead to the rise of an optimal signaling system, where every state of the world is bijectively linked to one signal and vice versa, but it can be trapped in suboptimum situations where two (or more) signals are used for the same event, or two (or more) events are associated with one and the same signal.

Suggested Citation

  • Pawlowitsch, Christina, 2008. "Why evolution does not always lead to an optimal signaling system," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 203-226, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:63:y:2008:i:1:p:203-226

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bomze Immanuel M. & Weibull Jorgen W., 1995. "Does Neutral Stability Imply Lyapunov Stability?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 173-192, November.
    2. Warneryd Karl, 1993. "Cheap Talk, Coordination, and Evolutionary Stability," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 532-546, October.
    3. Aumann, Robert J. & Heifetz, Aviad, 2002. "Incomplete information," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 43, pages 1665-1686 Elsevier.
    4. Ross Cressman, 2003. "Evolutionary Dynamics and Extensive Form Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262033054, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Penélope Hernández & Bernhard von Stengel, 2014. "Nash Codes for Noisy Channels," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 62(6), pages 1221-1235, December.
    2. K.J.M. De Jaegher & R. van Rooij, 2011. "Game-theoretic pragmatics under conflicting and common interests," Working Papers 11-25, Utrecht School of Economics.
    3. Josef Hofbauer & Simon M. Huttegger, 2015. "Selection-Mutation Dynamics of Signaling Games," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(1), pages 1-30, January.
    4. Jason McKenzie Alexander & Brian Skyrms & Sandy Zabell, 2012. "Inventing New Signals," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 129-145, March.
    5. Ross Cressman & William Sandholm & Christine Taylor, 2012. "Preface: Second DGAA Special Issue on Evolutionary Games," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-3, March.
    6. Sandholm, William H., 2015. "Population Games and Deterministic Evolutionary Dynamics," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, Elsevier.
    7. Seigo Uchida & Masakazu Fukuzumi, 2017. "The dynamical stability for an evolutionary language game under selection-mutation dynamics," Working Papers e115, Tokyo Center for Economic Research.
    8. Geoffrey Hodgson & Kainan Huang, 2012. "Evolutionary game theory and evolutionary economics: are they different species?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 345-366, April.

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