nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2005‒03‒06
five papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
US Naval Academy, USA

  1. A learning-based model of repeated games with incomplete information By Juin-Kuan Chong; Colin F. Camerer; Teck H. Ho
  2. Group selection and social preferences By Weibull, Jörgen; Salomonsson, Marcus
  3. A behavioral model of consumption By GIAMBONI LUIGI; WALDMANN ROBERT
  4. The evolutionary theory of the firm: Routines, complexity and change By Werner Hölzl
  5. Learning in and about Games By Anke Gerber

  1. By: Juin-Kuan Chong; Colin F. Camerer; Teck H. Ho
    Date: 2005–02–25
  2. By: Weibull, Jörgen (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics); Salomonsson, Marcus (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: Suppose that a large number of individuals are randomly matched into groups where each group plays a finite symmetric game. Individuals breed true according to their individual material payoffs, but the expected number of surviving offspring may depend on the material payoff vector to the whole group. We show that the mean-field equation for the induced population dynamic is equivalent to the replicator dynamic for a game with payoffs derived from those in the original game. We apply this selection dynamic to a number of examples, including prisoners' dilemma games, coordination games, hawk-dove games, public-goods provision games with and without punishment options, mini-ultimatum games, and common-pool games. For each of these, we provide conditions under which our selection dynamic leads to other outcomes than those obtained under the usual replicator dynamic. By way of a revealed-preference argument, we show how our selection dynamic can explain certain stable behaviors that are consistent with individuals having social preferences.
    Keywords: Group selection; social preferences; altruism; fairness.
    JEL: C72 C73 D64
    Date: 2005–02–28
    Abstract: This paper studies whether anomalies in consumption can be explained by a behavioral model in which agents do not have rational expectations and make predictable errors in forecasting income. We use a micro-data set containing subjective expectations about future income. The paper shows that, the null hypotheses of rational expectations is rejected in favor of the behavioral model, as that consumption responds to predictable forecast errors. On average agents who we predict are too pessimistic increase consumption after the predictable positive income shock. On average agents who are too optimistic reduce consumption. (JEL classification: D11, D12, D84)
    Date: 2004–04
  4. By: Werner Hölzl (Vienna University of Economics & B.A.)
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview on the evolutionary theory of the firm. The specific feature of the evolutionary approach is that it explains the adaptive behaviors of firms through the tension between innovation and selection. It is suggested that the evolutionary theory can provide a useful basis for a theory of the firm which is concerned with change over time and development.
    Keywords: theory of the firm, complexity, routines, change of routines
    Date: 2005–02
  5. By: Anke Gerber
    Abstract: We study finitely repeated 2 / 2 normal form games, where players have incomplete information about their opponents’ payoffs. In a laboratory experiment we investigate whether players (a) learn the game they are playing, (b) learn to predict the behavior of their opponent, and (c) learn to play according to a Nash equilibrium of the repeated game. Our results show that the success in learning the opponent’s type depends on the characteristics of the true game. The learning success is much higher for games with pure strategy Nash equilibria than for games with a unique mixed strategy Nash equilibrium, and it is higher for games with symmetric pure strategy Nash equilibria than for games with asymmetric equilibria. Moreover, subjects learn to predict the opponents’ behavior very well. However, they rarely play according to a Nash equilibrium and we observe no correlation between equilibrium play and learning about the game.
    Keywords: Learning, game theory, incomplete information, experiments
    JEL: C72 C92 D83

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