IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Homo Moralis-Preference evolution under incomplete information and assortative matching

  • Alger, Ingela
  • Weibull, Jörgen

What preferences will prevail in a society of rational individuals when preference evolution is driven by their success in terms of resulting payoffs? We show that when individuals’ preferences are their private information, a convex combinations of selfishness and morality stand out as evolutionarily stable. We call individuals with such preferences homo moralis. At one end of the spectrum is homo oeconomicus, who acts so as to maximize his or her material payoff. At the opposite end is homo kantiensis, who does what would be “the right thing to do,” in terms of material payoffs, if all others would do likewise. We show that the stable degree of morality - the weight placed on the moral goal - equals the index of assortativity in the matching process. The motivation of homo moralis is arguably compatible with how people often reason, and the induced behavior agrees with pro-social behaviors observed in many laboratory experiments.

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.tse-fr.eu/sites/default/files/medias/doc/wp/bee/wp_bee_281_2012.pdf
File Function: Full text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 12-281.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Econometrica, vol. 81, n°6, novembre 2013, p. 2269-2302.
Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:25607
Contact details of provider: Phone: (+33) 5 61 12 86 23
Web page: http://www.tse-fr.eu/

More information through EDIRC

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. Christoph Engel, 2011. "Dictator games: a meta study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 583-610, November.
  2. anonymous, 1999. "Southeast set to sustain economic pace in 2000," EconSouth, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q4, pages 8-23.
  3. anonymous, 1999. "Western economic developments," Western economic developments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  4. Esther Hauk & Maria Sáez, 1999. "On the cultural transmission of corruption," Economics Working Papers 392, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. Steffen Huck & Joerg Oechssler, 1995. "The Indirect Evolutionary Approach to Explaining Fair Allocations," Game Theory and Information 9507001, EconWPA, revised 27 Aug 1998.
  6. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3d04q5sm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. Fershtman, C. & Weiss, Y., 1996. "Social Rewards Externalities and Stable Preferences," Papers 17-96, Tel Aviv.
  8. ., 1999. "North American Economic Integration: Trial by Fire," Chapters, in: North American Economic Integration, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  9. anonymous, 1999. "Western economic developments," Western economic developments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  10. anonymous, 1999. "Is the international economic crisis over?," EconSouth, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q3, pages 14-19.
  11. Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten, 2001. "Raising Children to Work Hard: Altruism, Work Norms and Social Insurance," Research Papers in Economics 2001:5, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  12. Aviad Heifetz & Chris Shannon & Yossi Spiegel, 2003. "What to Maximize If You Must," Game Theory and Information 0303002, EconWPA.
  13. 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.
  14. Ted Bergstrom, . "On the Evolution of Altruistic Ethical Rules for Siblings," Papers _023, University of Michigan, Department of Economics.
  15. Bacharach, Michael, 1999. "Interactive team reasoning: A contribution to the theory of co-operation," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 117-147, June.
  16. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
  17. Enrico Minelli & Heracles M. Polemarchakis, 1999. "Nash-walras Equilibria of a Large Economy," Working Papers hal-00601580, HAL.
  18. anonymous, 1999. "Western economic developments," Western economic developments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jan.
  19. anonymous, 1999. "Western economic developments," Western economic developments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Dec.
  20. Jennifer Zelmer, 2003. "Linear Public Goods Experiments: A Meta-Analysis," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 6(3), pages 299-310, November.
  21. 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.
  22. Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2004. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 857-869, September.
  23. ., 1999. "Canada's Economic Development and Integration," Chapters, in: North American Economic Integration, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  24. Ingela Alger, 2010. "Public Goods Games, Altruism, and Evolution," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(4), pages 789-813, 08.
  25. 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.
  26. Becker, Gary S, 1976. "Altruism, Egoism, and Genetic Fitness: Economics and Sociobiology," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 817-26, September.
  27. anonymous, 1999. "Western economic developments," Western economic developments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Aug.
  28. ., 1999. "The Global Economy after World War II," Chapters, in: North American Economic Integration, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  29. Anonymous, 1999. "Contents of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 20," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 20(3), May.
  30. anonymous, 1999. "Western economic developments," Western economic developments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  31. ., 1999. "Mexico's Economic Development," Chapters, in: North American Economic Integration, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  32. Anonymous, 1999. "Contents of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 21," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 21(3), December.
  33. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1977. "Economics from a Biological Viewpoint," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(1), pages 1-52, April.
  34. anonymous, 1999. "Western economic developments," Western economic developments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Sep.
  35. repec:hhs:iuiwop:557 is not listed on IDEAS
  36. Anonymous, 1999. "New York Economic Handbook 2000," EB Series 186454, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  37. Joseph Henrich & Robert Boyd & Samuel Bowles & Colin Camerer & Ernst Fehr & Herbert Gintis & Richard McElreath & Michael Alvard & Abigail Barr & Jean Ensminger & Kim Hill & Francisco Gil-White & Micha, 2001. "Economic Man in Cross-Cultural Perspective: Behavioral Experiments in Fifteen Small-Scale Societies," Working Papers 01-11-063, Santa Fe Institute.
  38. Ingela Alger, 2010. "Corrigendum: Public Goods Games, Altruism, and Evolution," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(6), pages 1135-1135, December.
  39. James C. Cox & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2012. "Direct Tests Of Individual Preferences For Efficiency And Equity," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(4), pages 920-931, October.
  40. anonymous, 1999. "Western economic developments," Western economic developments, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue May.
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:tse:wpaper:25607. 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: ()

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.