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On the Evolution of Attitudes towards Risk in Winner-Take-All Games


  • Dekel, Eddie
  • Scotchmer, Suzanne


A long-standing conjecture is that winner-take-all games such as patent races lead to the survival of risk-takers and the extinction of risk-averters. In many species a winner-take-all game determines the males' right to reproduce, and the same argument suggests that males will evolve to be risk-takers. Psychological and sociological evidence buttresses the argument that males are more risk-taking than females. Using an evolutionary model of preference-formation, we investigate to what extent evolution leads to risk-taking in winner-take-all environments.
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  • Dekel, Eddie & Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1999. "On the Evolution of Attitudes towards Risk in Winner-Take-All Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 125-143, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:87:y:1999:i:1:p:125-143

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty


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