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Evolutionary norm enforcement

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  • Güth, Werner
  • Ockenfels, Axel

Abstract

Applying an indirect evolutionary approach with endogenous preference formation, we show that a legal system can induce players to reward trust even if material incentives dictate to exploit trust. By analyzing the crowding out or crowding in of trustworthiness implied by various verdict rules, we can assess how a court influences the share of kept promises of truly trustworthy players who evolutionarily evolved as trustworthy and of opportunistic players who are only trustworthy if inspired by material incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Güth, Werner & Ockenfels, Axel, 1999. "Evolutionary norm enforcement," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,84, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:199984
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Geoffrey Brennan & Werner Güth & Hartmut Kliemt, 2003. "Trust in the Shadow of the Courts," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 159(1), pages 16-36, March.
    2. Selten, Reinhard, 1983. "Evolutionary stability in extensive two-person games," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 269-363, September.
    3. Frank, Robert H, 1987. "If Homo Economicus Could Choose His Own Utility Function, Would He Want One with a Conscience?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 593-604, September.
    4. Bohnet, Iris & Frey, Bruno S. & Huck, Steffen, 2001. "More Order with Less Law: On Contract Enforcement, Trust, and Crowding," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 95(1), pages 131-144, March.
    5. Guth, W. & Kliemt, H., 1993. "Competition or Co-Operation," Papers 9339, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
    6. Harsanyi, John C, 1995. "Games with Incomplete Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 291-303, June.
    7. Werner Güth & Hartmut Kliemt, 1994. "Competition Or Co-Operation: On The Evolutionary Economics Of Trust, Exploitation And Moral Attitudes," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 155-187, June.
    8. Williamson, Oliver E, 1993. "Calculativeness, Trust, and Economic Organization," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 453-486, April.
    9. Ockenfels, Axel & Selten, Reinhard, 2000. "An Experiment on the Hypothesis of Involuntary Truth-Signalling in Bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 90-116, October.
    10. John C Harsanyi, 1997. "Games with incomplete information played by "bayesian" players," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1175, David K. Levine.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Axel Ockenfels, 2009. "Marktdesign und Experimentelle Wirtschaftsforschung," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(s1), pages 31-53, May.
    2. Werner Güth & Friederike Mengel & Axel Ockenfels, 2007. "An Evolutionary Analysis of Buyer Insurance and Seller Reputation in Online Markets," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 63(3), pages 265-282, November.
    3. Gãœth, Werner & Ockenfels, Axel, 2005. "The coevolution of morality and legal institutions: an indirect evolutionary approach," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 155-174, December.
    4. Güth, Werner & Kliemt, Hartmut, 2001. "Langzeiteffekte der Theory of Games and Economic Behavior: Zur Anwendung der Spieltheorie in den (Sozial-)wissenschaften," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,8, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    5. Croson, Rachel & Konow, James, 2007. "Double Standards: Social Preferences and Moral Biases," MPRA Paper 2729, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Werner Güth & Axel Ockenfels, 2002. "The Coevolution of Trust and Institutions in Anonymous and Non-anonymous Communities," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-07, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    7. Gary Bolton & Axel Ockenfels, 2005. "A stress test of fairness measures in models of social utility," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 25(4), pages 957-982, June.
    8. Edward Castronova, "undated". "Achievement Bias in the Evolution of Preferences," Gruter Institute Working Papers on Law, Economics, and Evolutionary Biology 2-1-1010, Berkeley Electronic Press.
    9. Schmitt, Rebecca, 2015. "Incorporating Phenotype Plasticity into the Indirect Evolutionary Approach," MPRA Paper 65734, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Marian Panganiban, 2015. "To friends everything, to strangers the law? An experiment on contract enforcement and group identity," Jena Economics Research Papers 2015-015, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    11. Friederike Mengel & Axel Ockenfels & Werner Güth, 2006. "The Dynamics of Trust and Trustworthiness on EBay. An Evolutionary Analysis of Buyer Insurance and Seller Reputation," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-03, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    12. Edward Castronova, 2004. "Achievement Bias in the Evolution of Preferences," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 195-226, May.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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