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How Exposure to Markets Can Favor Inequity-Averse Preferences

  • Robertas Zubrickas

This paper shows how market exposure can support the evolution of non-individualistic preferences. In a group, one agent is randomly selected to divide an exogenous endowment. Endowment shares are used for either consumption or market exchange with external merchants. As a more equal endowment distribution attenuates the scope of merchants’ price discrimination, we argue that inequity-averse preferences may lead to a higher utility of consumption and so survive evolutionary pressures. This effect arises from an opportunity to create and extract information rents. We offer a new explanation to the empirical finding that a society's exposure to markets has a positive effect on its members’ sociality.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 814577000000000130.

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Date of creation: 16 Feb 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:814577000000000130
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  1. Joerg Oechssler & Frank Riedel, 2000. "On the Dynamic Foundation of Evolutionary Stability in Continuous Models," Game Theory and Information 0004004, EconWPA.
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  6. Alvin E. Roth & V. Prasnikar & M. Okuno-Fujiwara & S. Zamir, 1998. "Bargaining and market behavior in Jerusalem, Liubljana, Pittsburgh and Tokyo: an experimental study," Levine's Working Paper Archive 344, David K. Levine.
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  8. Bester, Helmut & Guth, Werner, 1998. "Is altruism evolutionarily stable?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 193-209, February.
  9. 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.
  10. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2005. "The Economics of Fairness, Reciprocity and Altruism – Experimental Evidence and New Theories," Discussion Papers in Economics 726, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. Werner Güth & Stefan Napel, 2006. "Inequality Aversion in a Variety of Games - An Indirect Evolutionary Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 1037-1056, October.
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  15. Joseph Henrich, 2001. "In Search of Homo Economicus: Behavioral Experiments in 15 Small-Scale Societies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 73-78, May.
  16. Henrich, Joseph & Boyd, Robert & Bowles, Samuel & Camerer, Colin & Fehr, Ernst & Gintis, Herbert (ed.), 2004. "Foundations of Human Sociality: Economic Experiments and Ethnographic Evidence from Fifteen Small-Scale Societies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199262052, March.
  17. Joseph Henrich, 2000. "Does Culture Matter in Economic Behavior? Ultimatum Game Bargaining among the Machiguenga of the Peruvian Amazon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 973-979, September.
  18. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
  19. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
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  21. Eddie Dekel & Jeffrey C. Ely & Okan Yilankaya, 2007. "Evolution of Preferences -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 685-704.
  22. Becker, Gary S, 1976. "Altruism, Egoism, and Genetic Fitness: Economics and Sociobiology," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 817-26, September.
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