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Is altruism evolutionarily stable?

  • Bester, Helmut
  • Guth, Werner

We develop an evolutionary approach to explain altruistic preferences. Given their preferences, individuals interact rationally with each other. By comparing the success of players with different preferences, we investigate whether evolution favors altruistic or selfish attitudes. The outcome depends on whether the individuals' interactions are strategic complements or substitutes. Altruism and self-interest are context dependent.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 34 (1998)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 193-209

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:34:y:1998:i:2:p:193-209
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  2. Boyer, George R, 1989. "Malthus Was Right after All: Poor Relief and Birth Rates in Southeastern England," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 93-114, February.
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