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On the Evolution of Altruistic Ethical Rules for Siblings

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  • Ted Bergstrom

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

This paper explores the evolutionary foundations of altruism among siblings. It is intended as a contribution to the theory of the evolution of preferences, the economics of the family, and the evolutionary biology of kin selection. This paper extends the kin- selection theory of the biologist, William Hamilton, from the special case of additive benefits and costs to a more general class of games between relatives. We show that a population of siblings will resist invasion by dominant mutants if all individuals act so as to maximize a ``semi-Kantian'' utility function with respect to their siblings. We also find a separate condition that ensures that a population will resist invasion by dominant mutants. Conditions similar to ``strategic complementarity'' and ``strategic substitutability'' of strategies determine whether a population resistant to invasion by dominant mutants will also resist invasion by recessive mutants.

Suggested Citation

  • Ted Bergstrom, "undated". "On the Evolution of Altruistic Ethical Rules for Siblings," Papers _023, University of Michigan, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:michec:_023
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    File URL: http://www.econ.ucsb.edu/~tedb/Evolution/evalt.ps
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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