nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2008‒10‒28
four papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Strong reciprocity and reputation management By Yamagishi, Toshio; Horita, Yutaka; Takagishi, Haruto
  2. Rethinking basically Economic Assumption on Individual Behavior from Empirical Viewpoints of Evolution and Behavior By Zhao, Liang
  3. Endogenous Neighborhood Selection and the Attainment of Cooperation in a Spatial Prisoner’s Dilemma Game By Jason Barr; Troy Tassier
  4. Economic Laboratory Experiment on Horn's Rule By Kris De Jaegher; Stephanie Rosenkranz; Utz Weitzel

  1. By: Yamagishi, Toshio; Horita, Yutaka; Takagishi, Haruto
    Abstract: Large scale cooperation among non-kin individuals is an evolutionary puzzle since it enhances other individuals’ fitness at a cost to oneself. One possible solution to this puzzle is evolution of strong reciprocity through group selection. Rejection choices of unfair offers in the ultimatum game has been considered a testimony to the operation of the social preferences of inequity aversion and reciprocity that underlie strong reciprocity. Across three studies using three different methodologies (strategy method, one-shot game, repeated one-shot game), we compared rejection behavior in the ultimatum, impunity, and private impunity games. Results showed that about 30-40% of responders who faced an unfair offer rejected it even when such behavior aggravated unfairness rather than reducing it (i.e., in the impunity and the private impunity games), though the rejection rates in these games were only about a half of that in the ultimatum game. It was also found, across three studies, that the rejection rate of unfair offers in the impunity game was about the same as that in the private impunity game, in which the responder’s decision was not informed to the propose
    Keywords: Reputation; Strong reciprocity
    JEL: C72
    Date: 2008–10–20
  2. By: Zhao, Liang
    Abstract: Building on the predecessors' thoughts and modern researches from empirical disciplines, and with thinking over the behavior assumption usually held and used by mainstream economics, the paper generalizes three basic assumptions and one explanatory framework on human individual behavior and its process, and stresses hierarchical characteristics in preferences, heterogeneity between learning capacity and learning and, human dealing with and reducing uncertainty from environments in the process of natural evolution, and rethinks the questions of individual rationality, acquirement of behavior mode, intellectual history on "knowledge" in the level of experientialism. The purpose is that along the path of "falsifying a theory" and with the help of empirical results, the paper trys to propose behavioral presuppositions and thinking framework, so that enhancing the effectiveness of economic theory on explaining individual behavior in real situations, and in the end advancing transdisciplinary researches between the empirical and social sciences.
    Keywords: assumption; explanatory framework; individual behavior; hierarchical preference; learning capacity; knowledge; evolutionary process; empirical substrate; transdiscipline
    JEL: B21 B31 A12 D8 B59 Y80 D01
    Date: 2008–10–15
  3. By: Jason Barr (Rutgers University, Newark, Department of Economics); Troy Tassier (Fordham University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: There is a large literature in economics and elsewhere on the emergence and evolution of cooperation in the repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma. Recently this literature has expanded to include cooperation in spatial prisoner dilemma games where agents play only with local neighbors in a specified geography. In this paper we explore how the ability of agents to move and choose new locations and new neighbors influences the emergence of cooperation. First, we explore the dynamics of cooperation by investigating agent strategies that yield Markov transition probabilities. We show how different agent strategies yield different Markov chains which generate different asymptotic behaviors in regard to the attainment of cooperation. Second, we investigate how agent movement affects the attainment of cooperation in various spatial networks using agent based simulations.
    Keywords: repeated prisoner’s dilemma, cooperation, agent-based economics, endogenous networks, Markov chains
    JEL: C63 C72 C73 D8
    Date: 2008
  4. By: Kris De Jaegher; Stephanie Rosenkranz; Utz Weitzel
    Abstract: This paper develops a framework for empirically testing several alternative game-theoretic rationales for Horn’s rule. It then presents an economic laboratory experiment where these rationales are empirically tested. Subjects seem to coordinate on Horn’s rule where efficiency acts as a focal point. Nevertheless, a weak interpretation of the evolutionary argument is not rejected: prior play does have an effect on future play. This suggests a hierarchy of effects, where the focal point effect dominates the evolutionary effect, with the latter being more pronounced in cheap talk situations.
    Keywords: Horn’s Rule, Signalling Theory, Pragmatics, Economic Laboratory
    JEL: C72 C92
    Date: 2008–10

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