IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

What to Maximize if You Must

  • Aviad Heifetz
  • Chris Shannon
  • Yossi Spiegel

The assumption that decision makers choose actions to maximize their preferences is a central tenet in economics. This assumption is often justi…ed either formally or informally by appealing to evolutionary arguments. In contrast, we show that in almost every game and for almost every family of distortions of a player’s actual payoffs, some degree of this distortion is bene…cial to the player because of the resulting effect on opponents’ play. Consequently, such distortions will not be driven out by any evolutionary process involving payo¤-monotonic selection dynamics, in which agents with higher actual payoffs proliferate at the expense of less successful agents. In particular, under any such selection dynamics, the population will not converge to payo¤-maximizing behavior. We also show that payoff-maximizing behavior need not prevail even when preferences are imperfectly observed.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.tau.ac.il/%7Espiegel/papers/what36c.pdf
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found (http://www.tau.ac.il/%7Espiegel/papers/what36c.pdf [301 Moved Permanently]--> https://www.tau.ac.il/%7Espiegel/papers/what36c.pdf). If this is indeed the case, please notify (Fran Walker)


File Function: main text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 1414.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1414
Contact details of provider: Postal: Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science, Northwestern University, 580 Jacobs Center, 2001 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208-2014
Phone: 847/491-3527
Fax: 847/491-2530
Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Oechssler, Jörg & Riedel, Frank, 1998. "Evolutionary dynamics on infinite strategy spaces," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1998,68, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  2. Chaim Fershtman & Kenneth L. Judd & Ehud Kalai, 1990. "Observable Contracts: Strategic Delegation and Cooperation," Discussion Papers 879, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Michael L. Katz, 1991. "Game-Playing Agents: Unobservable Contracts as Precommitments," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 307-328, Autumn.
  4. Kockesen, Levent & Ok, Efe A. & Sethi, Rajiv, 2000. "The Strategic Advantage of Negatively Interdependent Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 274-299, June.
  5. Samuelson, Larry & Zhang, Jianbo, 1992. "Evolutionary stability in asymmetric games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 363-391, August.
  6. Benos, Alexandros V., 1998. "Aggressiveness and survival of overconfident traders," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 353-383, September.
  7. Leininger, W. & Linhart, P. B. & Radner, R., 1989. "Equilibria of the sealed-bid mechanism for bargaining with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 63-106, June.
  8. Nittai Bergman & Yaacov Z Bergman, 2000. "Ecologies of Preferences with Envy As An Antidote to Risk Aversion in Bargaining," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7561, David K. Levine.
  9. Alvaro Sandroni, 2000. "Do Markets Favor Agents Able to Make Accurate Predicitions?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(6), pages 1303-1342, November.
  10. Heifetz, Aviad & Segev, Ella, 2004. "The evolutionary role of toughness in bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 117-134, October.
  11. S. Huck & J. Oechssler, 1996. "The Indirect Evolutionary Approach To Explaining Fair Allocations," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1996,13, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  12. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1997. "Predation, reputation , and entry deterrence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1460, David K. Levine.
  13. G Th, Werner & Ockenfels, Axel, 2005. "The coevolution of morality and legal institutions: an indirect evolutionary approach," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 155-174, December.
  14. Aviad Heifetz & Chris Shannon & Yossi Spiegel, 2004. "What to Maximize if You Must," Discussion Papers 1414, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  15. Guttman, Joel M., 2000. "On the evolutionary stability of preferences for reciprocity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 31-50, March.
  16. Samuelson, L. & Zhang, J., 1990. "Evolutionary Stability In Symmetric Games," Working papers 90-24, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  17. Armen A. Alchian, 1950. "Uncertainty, Evolution, and Economic Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 211.
  18. Kockesen, Levent & Ok, Efe A. & Sethi, Rajiv, 2000. "Evolution of Interdependent Preferences in Aggregative Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 303-310, May.
  19. Jerry R. GREEN, 1992. "Commitments with Third Parties," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 25-26, pages 101-121.
  20. Kreps, David M, 1997. "Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 359-64, May.
  21. 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.
  22. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David, 1998. "Learning in games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 631-639, May.
  23. Bester, Helmut & Guth, Werner, 1998. "Is altruism evolutionarily stable?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 193-209, February.
  24. Possajennikov, Alex, 2000. "On the evolutionary stability of altruistic and spiteful preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 125-129, May.
  25. Samuelson, Larry, 2001. "Introduction to the Evolution of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 225-230, April.
  26. Fershtman, C. & Weiss,Y., 1995. "Social Rewards, Externalities and Stable Preferences," Papers 32-95, Tel Aviv.
  27. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
  28. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1994. "Human Relations in the Workplace," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 684-717, August.
  29. Moulin, Herve, 1984. "Dominance solvability and cournot stability," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 83-102, February.
  30. Bar-Gill, O. & Fershtman, C., 2001. "The Limit of Public Policy: Endogenous Preferences," Papers 2001-5, Tel Aviv.
  31. Dekel, Eddie & Ely, Jeffrey & Yilankaya, Okan, 2004. "Evolution of Preferences," Microeconomics.ca working papers dekel-04-08-13-01-21-07, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 09 Jun 2006.
  32. Bolle, Friedel, 2000. "Is altruism evolutionarily stable? And envy and malevolence?: Remarks on Bester and Guth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 131-133, May.
  33. Sethi, Rajiv & Somanathan, E., 2001. "Preference Evolution and Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 273-297, April.
  34. Werner G, th & Bezalel Peleg, 2001. "When will payoff maximization survive? An indirect evolutionary analysis," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 11(5), pages 479-499.
  35. Anderson Robert M. & Zame William R., 2001. "Genericity with Infinitely Many Parameters," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-64, February.
  36. Jeffrey C. Ely & Okan Yilankaya, 1997. "Nash Equilibrium and the Evolution of Preferences," Discussion Papers 1191, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  37. Frank, Robert H, 1987. "If Homo Economicus Could Choose His Own Utility Function, Would He Want One with a Conscience?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 593-604, September.
  38. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1996. "The Theory of Learning in Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 624, David K. Levine.
  39. Kyle, Albert S & Wang, F Albert, 1997. " Speculation Duopoly with Agreement to Disagree: Can Overconfidence Survive the Market Test?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(5), pages 2073-90, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1414. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Fran Walker)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.