nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2005‒04‒24
five papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
US Naval Academy, USA

  1. A Trace of Anger is Enough: On the Enforcement of Social Norms By Jakub Steiner
  2. Discounting and altruism to future decision-makers By Maria Saez-Marti; Jorgen W. Weibull
  3. Social Games: Matching and the Play of Finitely Repeated Games By Matthew O. Jackson; Alison Watts
  4. The Evolution of Precedent By Nicola Gannaioli; Andrei Shleifer
  5. Are People in Groups More Farsighted than Individuals? By John Bone; John Hey; John Suckling

  1. By: Jakub Steiner
    Abstract: It is well documented that the possibility of punishing free-riders increases contributions in one-shot public good games. I demonstrate theoretically that minimal punishment commitments (perhaps provided by anger) may lead to high contribution levels. Thus, almost selfish players may behave as strong reciprocators.
    Keywords: Reciprocity, Emotions, Commitment, Punishment, Public Good.
    JEL: D64 H41 Z13
    Date: 2005–01
  2. By: Maria Saez-Marti; Jorgen W. Weibull
    Date: 2005–04–17
  3. By: Matthew O. Jackson (Humanities and Social Sciences); Alison Watts (Southern Illinois University)
    Abstract: We examine a new class of games, which we call social games, where players not only choose strategies but also choose with whom they play. A group of players who are dissatisfied with the play of their current partners can join together and play a new equilibrium. This imposes new refinements on equilibrium play, where play depends on the relative populations of players in different roles, among other things. We also examine finite repetitions of games where players may choose to rematch in any period. Some equilibria of fixed-player repeated games cannot be sustained as equilibria in a repeated social game. Conversely, the set of repeated matching (or social) equilibria also includes some plays that are not part of any subgame perfect equilibrium of the corresponding fixed-player repeated games. We explore existence under different equilibrium definitions, as well as the relationship to renegotiation-proof equilibrium. It is possible for repeated matching equilibria to be completely distinct from renegotiation-proof equilibria, and even to be Pareto inefficient.
    Keywords: Social games, Matching, Games, Repeated games, Renegotiation
    JEL: A14 C71 C72 C78 J41
    Date: 2005–03
  4. By: Nicola Gannaioli; Andrei Shleifer
    Abstract: We evaluate Richard Posner's famous hypothesis that common law converges to efficient legal rules using a model of precedent setting by appellate judges. Following legal realists, we assume that judicial decisions are subject to personal biases, and that changing precedent is costly to judges. We consider separately the evolution of precedent under judicial overruling of previous decisions, as well as under distinguishing cases based on new material dimensions. Convergence to efficient legal rules occurs only under very special circumstances, but the evolution of precedent over time is on average beneficial under more plausible conditions.
    JEL: K13 K4
    Date: 2005–04
  5. By: John Bone; John Hey; John Suckling
    Abstract: A dynamic decision making experiment recently conducted on individuals suggested that people may look ahead but seem either unable or unwilling to predict their own future behaviour. In order to distinguish between these two possibilities, we repeated the experiment with pairs of individuals. The experiment consisted of two decision nodes (interleaved with two chance nodes), with one of the pair choosing at the first decision node and the second of the pair choosing at the second. Given the structure of the experiment, it was simple for the first player to predict the decisions of the second player. Nevertheless, the decisions of the first player indicate strongly that the first player does not in fact do so. It seems that people are unwilling to predict not only their own future behaviour but also the future behaviour of others.
    Keywords: Planning; prediction; dynamic decision making; pairs; individuals
    JEL: C91 C92 D81 C61

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