IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

What to Maximize If You Must

  • Heifetz, Aviad
  • Shannon, Chris
  • Spiegel, Yossi
Registered author(s):

    The assumption that decision makers choose actions to maximize their preferences is a central tenet in economics. This assumption is often justified either formally or informally by appealing to evolutionary arguments. In contrast, this paper shows that in almost every game, payoff. maximization cannot be justified by appealing to such arguments. We show that in almost every game, for almost every distortion of a player’s actual payoffs, some extent of this distortion is beneficial to the player because of the resulting effect on opponents’ play. Consequently, such distortions will not be driven out by any evolutionary process involving payoff.- monotonic selection dynamics, in which agents with higher actual payoffs proliferate at the expense of less successful agents. In particular, under any such selection dynamics, the population will not converge to payoff-maximizing behavior. We also show that payoff-maximizing behavior need not prevail even when preferences are imperfectly observed.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/0hj6631n.pdf;origin=repeccitec
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley in its series Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt0hj6631n.

    as
    in new window

    Length:
    Date of creation: 12 Dec 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cdl:econwp:qt0hj6631n
    Contact details of provider: Postal: F502 Haas, Berkeley CA 94720-1922
    Phone: (510) 642-1922
    Fax: (510) 642-5018
    Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/iber_econ/
    Email:


    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Samuelson, Larry & Zhang, Jianbo, 1992. "Evolutionary stability in asymmetric games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 363-391, August.
    2. Bar-Gill, O. & Fershtman, C., 2001. "The Limit of Public Policy: Endogenous Preferences," Papers 2001-5, Tel Aviv.
    3. Bolle, Friedel, 2000. "Is altruism evolutionarily stable? And envy and malevolence?: Remarks on Bester and Guth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 131-133, May.
    4. Kockesen, Levent & Ok, Efe A. & Sethi, Rajiv, 1997. "The Strategic Advantage of Negatively Interdependent Preferences," Working Papers 97-34, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    5. S. Huck & J. Oechssler, 1996. "The Indirect Evolutionary Approach To Explaining Fair Allocations," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1996,13, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    6. Kockesen, L. & Ok, E.A. & Sethi, R., 1998. "Evolution of Interdependent Preferences in Aggregative Games," Working Papers 98-19, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    7. Oechssler, Jörg & Riedel, Frank, 1998. "Evolutionary dynamics on infinite strategy spaces," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1998,68, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    8. Sethi, Rajiv & Somanathan, E., 2001. "Preference Evolution and Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 273-297, April.
    9. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1996. "The Theory of Learning in Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 624, David K. Levine.
    10. Dekel, Eddie & Ely, Jeffrey & Yilankaya, Okan, 2004. "Evolution of Preferences," Microeconomics.ca working papers dekel-04-08-13-01-21-07, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 09 Jun 2006.
    11. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1994. "Human Relations in the Workplace," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 684-717, August.
    12. Samuelson, Larry, 2001. "Introduction to the Evolution of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 225-230, April.
    13. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
    14. Fershtman, C. & Weiss,Y., 1995. "Social Rewards, Externalities and Stable Preferences," Papers 32-95, Tel Aviv.
    15. Benos, Alexandros V., 1998. "Aggressiveness and survival of overconfident traders," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 353-383, September.
    16. Ok, Efe A. & Vega-Redondo, Fernando, 2001. "On the Evolution of Individualistic Preferences: An Incomplete Information Scenario," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 231-254, April.
    17. Armen A. Alchian, 1950. "Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 211.
    18. Guttman, Joel M., 2000. "On the evolutionary stability of preferences for reciprocity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 31-50, March.
    19. Nittai Bergman & Yaacov Z Bergman, 2000. "Ecologies of Preferences with Envy As An Antidote to Risk Aversion in Bargaining," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7561, David K. Levine.
    20. Leininger, W. & Linhart, P. B. & Radner, R., 1989. "Equilibria of the sealed-bid mechanism for bargaining with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 63-106, June.
    21. Alvaro Sandroni, 2000. "Do Markets Favor Agents Able to Make Accurate Predicitions?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1303-1342, November.
    22. Jeffrey C. Ely & Okan Yilankaya, 1997. "Nash Equilibrium and the Evolution of Preferences," Discussion Papers 1191, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    23. Possajennikov, Alex, 2000. "On the evolutionary stability of altruistic and spiteful preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 125-129, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:econwp:qt0hj6631n. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.