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Preference Evolution and Reciprocity

  • Rajiv Sethi

    (Barnard College, Columbia University)

  • E. Somanathan

    (University of Michigan)

This paper provides an evolutionary theory of reciprocity as an aspect of preference interdependence. It is shown that reciprocal preferences, which place negative weight on the payoffs of materialists and positive weight on the payoffs of sufficiently altruistic individuals can invade a population of materialists in a class of aggregative games under both individual selection and random matching. Such preferences are efficiency-reducing when they are rare and efficiency-enhancing when they are widespread, suggesting that they can persist even under group selection and assortative matching. In comparison with simpler specifications of preference interdependence (such as pure altruism or envy), the survival of such preferences is therefore less sensitive to details of the evolutionary selection process.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/game/papers/9903/9903001.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Game Theory and Information with number 9903001.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 04 Mar 1999
Date of revision: 12 Mar 1999
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:9903001
Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP/PostScript; pages: 26 ; figures: included
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  7. Bester, H. & Güth, W., 1994. "Is altruism evolutionarily stable ?," Discussion Paper 1994-103, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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  15. Roth, Alvin E. & Vesna Prasnikar & Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara & Shmuel Zamir, 1991. "Bargaining and Market Behavior in Jerusalem, Ljubljana, Pittsburgh, and Tokyo: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1068-95, December.
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