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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://pubdb.wiwi.uni-jena.de/pdf/wp_2011_032.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rubinstein Ariel & Wolinsky Asher, 1994. "Rationalizable Conjectural Equilibrium: Between Nash and Rationalizability," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 299-311, March.
    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. Battigalli Pierpaolo & Di Tillio Alfredo & Grillo Edoardo & Penta Antonio, 2011. "Interactive Epistemology and Solution Concepts for Games with Asymmetric Information," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-40, March.
    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. 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.
    9. Samuelson, Larry, 2001. "Introduction to the Evolution of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 225-230, April.
    10. Ulrich Witt, 2006. "Evolutionary Economics," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2006-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    11. 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.
    12. Herold, Florian & Kuzmics, Christoph, 2009. "Evolutionary stability of discrimination under observability," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 542-551, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:mateco:v:71:y:2017:i:c:p:129-134 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Oliver Enrique Pardo Reinoso, 2015. "A Note on The Evolution of Preferences," ICESI ECONOMICS WORKING PAPERS 014568, UNIVERSIDAD ICESI.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    evolution of preferences; altruism; learning; self-confirming equilibrium;

    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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