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Simple heuristics as equilibrium strategies in mutual sequential mate search


  • Saglam, Ismail


In this paper, we study whether simple heuristics can arise as equilibrium strategies in mutual sequential mate search. To this aim, we extend the mate search model of Todd and Miller (1999), involving an adolescence (learning) phase followed by an actual mating phase, to a strategic game where the players, as the individuals in the mating population, choose before starting the adolescence phase, the best rule - among the four available search (aspiration adjustment) rules - to maximize their likelihood of mating, given the choice of other individuals. Conducting Monte Carlo simulations, we show that the use of the Take the Next Best Rule by the whole population never becomes a (Nash) equilibrium in the simulation range of adolescence lengths. While the unanimous use of the Adjust Relative Rule by the whole population arises as an equilibrium for a wide part of the simulation range, especially for medium to high adolescence lengths, the rules Adjust Up/Down and Adjust Relative/2 are unanimously chosen as equilibrium strategies for a small part of the simulation range and only when the adolescence is long and short, respectively.

Suggested Citation

  • Saglam, Ismail, 2013. "Simple heuristics as equilibrium strategies in mutual sequential mate search," MPRA Paper 44222, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44222

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kimmo Eriksson & Olle Häggström, 2008. "Instability of matchings in decentralized markets with various preference structures," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 36(3), pages 409-420, March.
    2. Parag A. Pathak, 2011. "The Mechanism Design Approach to Student Assignment," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 513-536, September.
    3. Ismail Saglam, 2013. "Divorce Costs and Marital Dissolution in a One-to-One Matching Framework With Nontransferable Utilities," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(1), pages 1-19, March.
    4. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Tayfun Sönmez, 2003. "School Choice: A Mechanism Design Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 729-747, June.
    5. Roth, Alvin E, 1984. "The Evolution of the Labor Market for Medical Interns and Residents: A Case Study in Game Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 991-1016, December.
    6. Ayse Mumcu & Ismail Saglam, 2008. "Marriage Formation/Dissolution and Marital Distribution in a Two-Period Economic Model of Matching with Cooperative Bargaining," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 11(4), pages 1-3.
    7. Edmund J. Collins & John M. McNamara & David M. Ramsey, 2006. "Learning rules for optimal selection in a varying environment: mate choice revisited," Behavioral Ecology, International Society for Behavioral Ecology, vol. 17(5), pages 799-809, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Saglam, Ismail, 2017. "A New Heuristic in Mutual Sequential Mate Search," MPRA Paper 79448, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Saglam, Ismail, 2017. "Simulating the Mutual Sequential Mate Search Model under Non-homogenous Preferences," MPRA Paper 80522, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Mate Choice; Mate Search; Simple Heuristics; Agent-Based Simulation; Stability; Equilibrium Strategies;

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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