IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wop/safire/97-12-091e.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Games of Status Part I: Modeling Considerations

Author

Listed:
  • Tom Quint
  • Martin Shubik

Abstract

Many of the applications of game theory have been to economics where the individuals under study are assumed to be maximizing profits or Òutility'' or some other conventional economic goal of Òstatus.'' Loosely stated we think of status as one's position in a society compared with others, often inferred via title such as Òking,'' Òdoctor,'' or Ònumber 1 heavy-weight contender.'' Status, rank, or position in society may or may not be formally granted. Thus the status of a guru or wise man may be the outcome of a general (but not formal) growth of reputation and respect. In contrast, the status of a corporate president or admiral is primarily determined by a formal pecking order in the institution to which he or she belongs. The rank of a player or team within a sport is determined by a series of formal competitive interchanges, as is the standing of a student in an examination system which lays stress on prizes and position for those who emerge first. We believe that there is a distinction between status and wealth, with many instances in which one is traded for the other. History is replete with stories of rich men buying themselves knighthoods. In local and national politics, judgeships and ambassadorial appointments may be obtained by those who make the appropriate sidepayments in forms such as campaign contributions. The Austrian and Brazilian monarchies used the status attraction of minor titles as a source of revenue. Prior to the French Revolution, Schama (1989, 117) notes ÒIf one had the funds it was possible to buy an entitling office, like the Ôsecretaire du roi.Õ No less than fifteen hundred nobles joined the order through the Paris Chamber in this way.'' Soon after the revolution the value of previous status dropped in a drastic manner. Some years ago, one of us proposed the study of games of status where the payoff consisted only of the rank ordering of the players (Shubik, 1971). The paper written at that time suggested a way of going from a standard sidepayment game characteristic function to a Ògame of status.'' On reconsidering the analysis of status, a more natural approach is to treat the definition of the characteristic function of an $n$-person game of a status as a primitive concept. Furthermore, it appears that there is a reasonably straightforward way to use sidepayment and no-sidepayment game theory to analyze tradeoffs between money (wealth) and status. In the two parts of this paper we divide difficulties. The first part is devoted to providing the motivation for the modeling and analysis of status games. We also present a discussion of the benefits to be derived from and the difficulties encountered in formulating mathematical models which depend on an intermix of social, political, and economic phenomena. In the second part we present our formal models and analysis. These include models in which only status is present, as well as constructs which include both wealth and status. There is a third related paper where we deal with the class of Ògeneral ordinal preferences'' games, of which status games are a special class (Quint and Shubik, 1977).

Suggested Citation

  • Tom Quint & Martin Shubik, 1997. "Games of Status Part I: Modeling Considerations," Research in Economics 97-12-091e, Santa Fe Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:safire:97-12-091e
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.santafe.edu/sfi/publications/Working-Papers/97-12-091E.html
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Game theory;

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:safire:97-12-091e. 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: (Thomas Krichel). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/epstfus.html .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.