nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2006‒09‒23
five papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
US Naval Academy, USA

  1. On the Co-evolution of Retribution and Trustworthiness: An (Indirect) Evolutionary and Experimental Analysis By Werner Güth; Hartmut Kliemt; M. Vittoria Levati; Geog von Wangenheim
  2. When Does One Bad Apple Spoil the Barrel? An Evolutionary Analysis of Collective Action By David P. Myatt; Chris Wallace
  3. When An Evolutionary Analysis of the Volunteer`s Dilemma By David P. Myatt; Chris Wallace
  4. Satisficing in Portfolio Selection - Theoretical Aspects and Experimental Tests By Werner Güth
  5. Trust as a Signal of a Social Norm and the Hidden Costs of Incentive Schemes By Dirk Sliwka

  1. By: Werner Güth; Hartmut Kliemt; M. Vittoria Levati; Geog von Wangenheim
    Abstract: Standard economic explanations of good conduct in trade rely almost exclusively on future-directed extrinsic motivations induced by material incentives. But intrinsic motives to behave trustworthy and to punish untrustworthiness do support trade. In our model, intrinsically motivated players are aware of their own type and observe the population share of other types. The material success of various types and their co-evolution are analyzed, and it is checked whether the dynamics of the indirect evolutionary analysis are replicated in the laboratory.
    JEL: B52 C72 C90
    Date: 2006–09
  2. By: David P. Myatt; Chris Wallace
    Abstract: This paper studies n-player collective-action games in which a public good is produced if and only if m or more volunteers contribute to it. Quantal-response strategy revisions allow play to move between equilibria in which a team of m players successfully provide, and an equilibrium in which the collective action fails. A full characterisation of long-run play reveals the determinants of success. These include the correlation between players` costs of provision and their valuations for the good. The addition of an extra "bad apple" player can "spoil the barrel" by destabilising successful teams. A contemporary application is the team-based provision of open-source software. The analysis reveals the features of successful open-source projects, and suggests a rationale for limiting the pool of possible contributors.
    Keywords: Collective Action, Evolution, Teams, Equilibrium Selection, Concordance, Open-Source Software
    JEL: C72 C73 H41
    Date: 2006
  3. By: David P. Myatt; Chris Wallace
    Abstract: The volunteer`s dilemma is an asymmetric n-player binary-action game in which a public good is provided if and only if at least one player volunteers, and consequently bears some private cost. So long as the value generated for every player exceeds this private cost there are n pure-strategy Nash equilibria in each of which a single player volunteers. Quantal-response strategy revisions allow play to move between the different equilibria. A complete characterisation of long-run play as strategy revisions approximate best replies provides an equilibrium selection device. The volunteer need not be the lowest-cost player: relatively high-cost, but nonetheless "stable" players may instead provide the public good. The cost of provision is (weakly) reduced when higher values are associated with lower costs.
    Keywords: Volunteer`s Dilemma, Public Goods, Evolution, Equilibrium Selection, Concordance
    JEL: C72 C73 H41
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Werner Güth
    Abstract: The satisficing approach with its three constituent processes, aspiration formation, satisficing, and aspiration adjustment, is formally elaborated for a specific class of portfolio selection tasks. It is partly poorly confirmed by experimental data, indicating that bounded rationality requires teaching or, respectively, consulting, and learning. It is also discussed and tested experimentally whether satisficing is task transcending (are there individual constants in satisficing behavior for related tasks?) and absorbable (do we stick to satisficing behavior when becoming aware of it?).
    Date: 2006–09
  5. By: Dirk Sliwka (University of Cologne and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: An explanation for motivation crowding-out phenomena is developed in a social preferences framework. Besides selfish and fair or altruistic types a third type of agents is introduced: These ‘conformists' have social preferences if they believe that sufficiently many of the others do too. When there is asymmetric information about the distribution of preferences (the `social norm'), the incentive scheme offered or autonomy granted can reveal a principal's beliefs about that norm. High-powered incentives may crowd out motivation as pessimism about the norm is conveyed. But by choosing fixed wages or granting autonomy the principal may signal trust in a favorable social norm.
    Keywords: social preferences, incentives, intrinsic motivation, motivation crowding-out, social norms, trust, conformity, selection
    JEL: M52 J33 D23
    Date: 2006–09

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