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On the Evolution of Preferences

  • Astrid Gamba


    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany)

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.

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Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2011-032.

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Date of creation: 04 Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2011-032
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  1. Eddie Dekel & Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2001. "Learning to Play Bayesian Games," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1926, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Ely, Jeffrey C. & Peski, Marcin, 2006. "Hierarchies of belief and interim rationalizability," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(1), pages 19-65, March.
  3. Bester, Helmut & Guth, Werner, 1998. "Is altruism evolutionarily stable?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 193-209, February.
  4. 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.
  5. Samuelson, Larry, 2001. "Introduction to the Evolution of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 225-230, April.
  6. Herold, Florian & Kuzmics, Christoph, 2009. "Evolutionary stability of discrimination under observability," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 542-551, November.
  7. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Alfredo Di Tillio & Edoardo Grillo & Antonio Penta, 2008. "Interactive Epistemology and Solution Concepts for Games with Asymmetric Information," Working Papers 340, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  8. Guth, Werner, 1995. "An Evolutionary Approach to Explaining Cooperative Behavior by Reciprocal Incentives," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 323-44.
  9. Ulrich Witt, 2006. "Evolutionary Economics," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2006-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  10. 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.
  11. Rubinstein Ariel & Wolinsky Asher, 1994. "Rationalizable Conjectural Equilibrium: Between Nash and Rationalizability," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 299-311, March.
  12. Fudenberg, Drew & Kreps, David M., 1995. "Learning in extensive-form games I. Self-confirming equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 20-55.
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