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Evolving to the Impatience Trap: The Example of the Farmer-Sheriff Game

  • David K. Levine
  • Salvatore Modica
  • Federico Weinschelbaum
  • Felipe Zurita

The literature on the evolution of impatience, focusing on one-person decision problems, finds that evolutionary forces favor the more patient individuals. This paper shows that in the context of a game, this is not necessarily the case. In particular, it offers a twopopulation example where evolutionary forces favor impatience in one group while favoring patience in the other. Moreover, not only evolution but also efficiency may prefer impatient individuals. In our example, it is efficient for one population to evolve impatience and for the other to develop patience. Yet, evolutionary forces move the wrong populations.

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Paper provided by Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. in its series Documentos de Trabajo with number 397.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ioe:doctra:397
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  1. Giulio Bottazzi & Pietro Dindo, 2010. "Evolution and market behavior with endogenous investment rules," LEM Papers Series 2010/20, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  2. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2009. "The Economics and Psychology of Inequality and Human Development," Working Papers 200934, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  3. Blaydes, Lisa, 2004. "Rewarding Impatience: A Bargaining and Enforcement Model of OPEC," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(02), pages 213-237, April.
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  5. Ingela Alger & Jörgen Weibull, 2009. "Kinship, Incentives and Evolution," Working Papers hal-00435431, HAL.
  6. Blume, Lawrence & Easley, David, 1992. "Evolution and market behavior," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 9-40, October.
  7. 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.
  8. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1991. "The Technology of Conflict as an Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 130-34, May.
  9. Fearon, James D., 1998. "Bargaining, Enforcement, and International Cooperation," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(02), pages 269-305, March.
  10. Krueger, Anne O, 1974. "The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 291-303, June.
  11. 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.
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