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On the Evolution of Preferences

Author

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  • Astrid Gamba

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany)

Abstract

A common feature of the literature on the evolution of preferences is that evolution favors nonmaterialistic preferences only if preference types are observable at least to some degree. We argue that this result is due to the assumption that in each state of the evolutionary dynamics some Bayesian Nash equilibrium is played. We show that under unobservability of preference types, conditional on selecting some self-confirming equilibrium as a rule for mapping preference into behavior, non-selfish preferences may be evolutionarily successful.

Suggested Citation

  • Astrid Gamba, 2011. "On the Evolution of Preferences," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-032, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2011-032
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    File URL: http://www2.wiwi.uni-jena.de/Papers/jerp2011/wp_2011_032.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Ely, Jeffrey C. & Yilankaya, Okan, 2001. "Nash Equilibrium and the Evolution of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 255-272, April.
    7. Dekel, Eddie & Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K., 2004. "Learning to play Bayesian games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 282-303, February.
    8. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pardo, Oliver, 2017. "A note on “Evolution of Preferences”," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 129-134.
    2. Carrasco, José A. & Harrison, Rodrigo & Villena, Mauricio, 2018. "Interdependent preferences and endogenous reciprocity," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 68-75.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    evolution of preferences; altruism; learning; self-confirming equilibrium;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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