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Evolutionary Dynamics in Public Good Games

  • Christiane Clemens

    ()

  • Thomas Riechmann

    ()

This paper explores the question whether boundedly rational agents learn to behave optimally when asked to voluntarily contribute to a public good. The dynamic game is described by an Evolutionary Algorithm, which is shown to extend the applicability of ordinary replicator dynamics of evolutionary game theory to problem sets characterized by finite populations and continuous strategy spaces. We analyze the learning process of purely and impurely altruistic agents and find in both cases the contribution level to converge towards the Nash equilibrium. The group size, the degree of initial heterogeneity and the propensity to experiment are key factors of the learning process. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10614-006-9044-4
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Article provided by Society for Computational Economics in its journal Computational Economics.

Volume (Year): 28 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 399-420

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Handle: RePEc:kap:compec:v:28:y:2006:i:4:p:399-420
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  1. Jorgen W. Weibull, 1997. "Evolutionary Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262731215, June.
  2. Chris Birchenhall & Nikos Kastrinos & Stan Metcalfe, 1997. "Genetic algorithms in evolutionary modelling," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 375-393.
  3. Riechmann, Thomas, 1997. "Learning and Behavoiral Stability - An Economic Interpretation of Genetic Algorithms," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-209, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  4. Metcalfe, J S, 1994. "Competition, Fisher's Principle and Increasing Returns in the Selection Process," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 327-46, November.
  5. Mark Isaac, R. & McCue, Kenneth F. & Plott, Charles R., 1985. "Public goods provision in an experimental environment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 51-74, February.
  6. Andreoni, James, 1988. "Privately provided public goods in a large economy: The limits of altruism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 57-73, February.
  7. Dixit, Avinash & Olson, Mancur, 2000. "Does voluntary participation undermine the Coase Theorem?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 309-335, June.
  8. Varian, Hal R., 1994. "Sequential contributions to public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 165-186, February.
  9. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  10. repec:att:wimass:9325 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Gale, John & Binmore, Kenneth G. & Samuelson, Larry, 1995. "Learning to be imperfect: The ultimatum game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 56-90.
  12. Sugden, Robert, 1985. "Consistent conjectures and voluntary contributions to public goods: why the conventional theory does not work," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 117-124, June.
  13. R. Isaac & James Walker & Susan Thomas, 1984. "Divergent evidence on free riding: An experimental examination of possible explanations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 113-149, January.
  14. Fershtman, C. & Nitzan, S., 1988. "Dynamic Voluntary Provision Of Public Goods," Papers 21-88, Tel Aviv.
  15. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
  16. Riechmann, Thomas, 2001. "Genetic algorithm learning and evolutionary games," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(6-7), pages 1019-1037, June.
  17. Gradstein, Mark, 1992. "Time Dynamics and Incomplete Information in the Private Provision of Public Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 581-97, June.
  18. Bliss, Christopher & Nalebuff, Barry, 1984. "Dragon-slaying and ballroom dancing: The private supply of a public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 1-12, November.
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