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Conventions and Social Mobility in Bargaining Situations

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  • Giovanni Ponti
  • Robert M. Seymour

Abstract

This paper studies the evolution of a population whose members use their social class to coor-dinate their actions in a simple tacit bargaining game. In the spirit of Rosenthal and Landau [1979], we interpret the equilibrium behaviours that the players may adopt, as a function of their class, as customs. Players may change their class depending on the outcome of the game, and may also change their custom, as a result of some learning process. We are interested in the characterization of the fixed points of the adjustment process over the space of classes and customs from a distributional point of view. Wefind that, although any custom (when it operates alone) generates the same limiting class distribution as any other, these limiting distrbutions can be ranked with respect of their mobility. If players are allowed to change their custom when they find it unsatisfactory, then social mobility appears to be the key variable to predict the type of custom which will predominate in the long run even though, in general, no one custom is dominant. In particular, customs which promote social mobility appear to exhibit, in all the cases we have analysed, stronger stability properties.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Ponti & Robert M. Seymour, "undated". "Conventions and Social Mobility in Bargaining Situations," ELSE working papers 034, ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and Social Evolution.
  • Handle: RePEc:els:esrcls:034
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    File URL: ftp://ftp.repec.org/RePEc/els/esrcls/mobility.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mookherjee Dilip & Sopher Barry, 1994. "Learning Behavior in an Experimental Matching Pennies Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 62-91, July.
    2. Rosenthal, R W, 1979. "Sequences of Games with Varying Opponents," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(6), pages 1353-1366, November.
    3. Kandori, Michihiro & Mailath, George J & Rob, Rafael, 1993. "Learning, Mutation, and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 29-56, January.
    4. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-1189, December.
    5. Dardanoni Valentino, 1993. "Measuring Social Mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 372-394, December.
    6. Cabrales, Antonio, 2000. "Stochastic Replicator Dynamics," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(2), pages 451-481, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Torstensson, Pär, 2005. "Evolutionary Stability in Bargaining with an Asymmetric Breakdown Point," Working Papers 2005:38, Lund University, Department of Economics.

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