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The Evolution of Conflict under Inertia

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In Norman (2003), the introduction of individual strategy switching costs, and thus inertia, into stochastic evolutionary coordination games was found inter alia to strengthen the mixed-strategy equilibrium as a short- to medium-run equilibrium. This paper considers the impact of such switching costs on the conflict scenario of Hawk-Dove games. The "attractive" mixed-strategy equilibrium of Hawk-Dove games represents a far better candidate for long-run equilibrium than its unstable counterpart in coordination games, and yet robust selection results have proved elusive, with conditions on the selection dynamics generally being required. Such a condition remains a necessity in the switching cost model with state-independent mutations. However, a more realistic model of state-dependent mutations driven by stochastic switching costs overcomes this problem, and identifies a threshold mean switching cost, above which the mixed-strategy equilibrium is selected in the long run for a wide class of switching cost distributions.

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Paper provided by Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford in its series Economics Papers with number 2003-W07.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 17 Feb 2003
Handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:0307
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