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On an Evolutionary Foundation of Neuroeconomics

  • Burkhard C. Schipper

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Neuroeconomics focuses on brain imaging studies mapping neural responses to choice behavior. Economic theory is concerned with choice behavior but it is silent on neural activities. We present a game theoretic model in which players are endowed with an additional structure - a simple ``nervous system'' - and interact repeatedly in changing games. The nervous system constrains information processing functions and behavioral functions. By reinterpreting results from evolutionary game theory (Germano, 2007), we suggest that nervous systems can develop to ``function well'' in exogenously changing strategic environments. We present an example indicating that an analogous conclusion fails if players can influence endogenously their environment.

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Paper provided by University of California, Davis, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 84.

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Length: 17
Date of creation: 16 Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:08-4
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  1. Fabrizio Germano, 2007. "Stochastic Evolution of Rules for Playing Finite Normal Form Games," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 62(4), pages 311-333, May.
  2. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2004. "Addiction and Cue-Triggered Decision Processes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1558-1590, December.
  3. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2006. "A Dual Self Model of Impulse Control," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2112, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Jorgen W. Weibull, 1997. "Evolutionary Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262731215, June.
  5. Cabrales, Antonio & Sobel, Joel, 1992. "On the limit points of discrete selection dynamics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 407-419, August.
  6. Arthur J. Robson & Hillard S. Kaplan, 2003. "The Evolution of Human Life Expectancy and Intelligence in Hunter-Gatherer Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 150-169, March.
  7. Andrew Caplin & Mark Dean, 2008. "Dopamine, Reward Prediction Error, and Economics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 663-701, 05.
  8. Gigerenzer, Gerd & Todd, Peter M. & ABC Research Group,, 2000. "Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195143812.
  9. Benhabib, Jess & Bisin, Alberto, 2005. "Modeling internal commitment mechanisms and self-control: A neuroeconomics approach to consumption-saving decisions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 460-492, August.
  10. McCabe, Kevin A., 2008. "Neuroeconomics And The Economic Sciences," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(03), pages 345-368, November.
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