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Economic Darwinism

Author

Listed:
  • Birgitte Sloth

    (Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark)

  • Hans Jørgen Whitta-Jacobsen

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

We define an evolutionary process of “economic Darwinism” for playing-the-field, symmetric games. The process captures two forces. One is “economic selection”: if current behavior leads to payoff differences, behavior yielding lowest payoff has strictly positive probability of being replaced by an arbitrary behavior. The other is “mutation”: any behavior has at any point in time a strictly positive, very small probability of shifting to an arbitrary behavior. We show that behavior observed frequently is in accordance with “evolutionary equilibrium”, a static equilibrium concept suggested in the literature. Using this result, we demonstrate that generally under positive (negative) externalities, economic Darwinism implies even more under- (over-) activity than does Nash equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Birgitte Sloth & Hans Jørgen Whitta-Jacobsen, 2006. "Economic Darwinism," CIE Discussion Papers 2006-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuieci:2006-01
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    File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/cie/dp/dp_2003-2006/2006-01.pdf/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alex Possajennikov, 2003. "Evolutionary foundations of aggregate-taking behavior," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 21(4), pages 921-928, June.
    2. Stegeman, Mark & Rhode, Paul, 2004. "Stochastic Darwinian equilibria in small and large populations," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 171-214, October.
    3. Schaffer, Mark E., 1989. "Are profit-maximisers the best survivors? : A Darwinian model of economic natural selection," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 29-45, August.
    4. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
    5. Bergin, James & Bernhardt, Dan, 2009. "Cooperation through imitation," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 376-388, November.
    6. Fernando Vega-Redondo, 1997. "The Evolution of Walrasian Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(2), pages 375-384, March.
    7. Corchon, Luis C., 1994. "Comparative statics for aggregative games the strong concavity case," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 151-165, December.
    8. Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Ana Ania, 2005. "The evolutionary stability of perfectly competitive behavior," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 26(3), pages 497-516, October.
    9. James Bergin & Dan Bernhardt, 2004. "Comparative Learning Dynamics," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 431-465, May.
    10. Burkhard C. Schipper, 2004. "Submodularity and the evolution of Walrasian behavior," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 32(4), pages 471-477, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hehenkamp, Burkhard & Wambach, Achim, 2010. "Survival at the center--The stability of minimum differentiation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 853-858, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    evolutionary game theory; Darwinian evolution; economic selection; mutation; evolutionary equilibrium; stochastic stability;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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