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Indirect Evolution versus Strategic Delegation: A Comparison of Two Approaches to Explaining Economic Institutions

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  • Dufwenberg, Martin

    () (Department of Economics)

  • Güth, Werner

    (Department of Economics)

Abstract

Two major methods of explaining economic institutions, namely by strategic choices or through (indirect) evolution, are compared for the case of a homogenous quadratic duopoly market. Sellers either can provide incentives for agents to care for sales, or evolve as sellers who care for sales in addition to profits. The two approaches are conceptually quite different, yet similar in the sense that both allow certain kinds of commitment. We show that when the two models are set up in intuitively comparable ways strategic delegation does not change the market results as compared to the usual duopoly solution, while indirect evolution causes a more competitive behavior. Thus the case at hand underscores the differences between the two approaches in explaining economic institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Dufwenberg, Martin & Güth, Werner, 1998. "Indirect Evolution versus Strategic Delegation: A Comparison of Two Approaches to Explaining Economic Institutions," Working Paper Series 1998:9, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:1998_009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Baik, Kyung Hwan & Kim, In-Gyu, 1997. "Delegation in contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 281-298, May.
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    3. Güth, W. & Kliemt, H., 1993. "Competition or Co-Operation," Discussion Paper 1993-39, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    4. Jorgen W. Weibull, 1997. "Evolutionary Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262731215, January.
    5. Guth, Werner, 1995. "An Evolutionary Approach to Explaining Cooperative Behavior by Reciprocal Incentives," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 24(4), pages 323-344.
    6. Werner Güth & Hartmut Kliemt, 1994. "Competition Or Co-Operation: On The Evolutionary Economics Of Trust, Exploitation And Moral Attitudes," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 155-187, June.
    7. Michael L. Katz, 1991. "Game-Playing Agents: Unobservable Contracts as Precommitments," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, pages 307-328.
    8. Caillaud, Bernard & Jullien, B & Picard, P, 1995. "Competing Vertical Structures: Precommitment and Renegotiation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(3), pages 621-646, May.
    9. Fershtman, Chaim & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "Equilibrium Incentives in Oligopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 927-940, December.
    10. Fershtman, Chaim & Gneezy, Uri, 2001. "Strategic Delegation: An Experiment," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, pages 352-368.
    11. Guth, Werner & Huck, Steffen, 1997. "A new justification of monopolistic competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 177-182, December.
    12. Hammerstein, Peter & Selten, Reinhard, 1994. "Game theory and evolutionary biology," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications,in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 28, pages 929-993 Elsevier.
    13. repec:fth:harver:1502 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Güth, Werner, 1998. "Sequential versus independent commitment: An indirect evolutionary analysis of bargaining rules," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1998,5, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    2. Possajennikov, A., 1999. "On Evolutionary Stability of Spiteful Preferences," Discussion Paper 1999-56, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Indirect evolution; strategic delgation; commitment; duopoly markets; agency theory;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection

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