nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2009‒05‒09
seven papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) Prefer to Cooperate When Petted: Integrating Proximate and Ultimate Explanations II By Amir Perelberg; Richard Schuster
  2. Misbehavioral urban economics By Berliant, Marcus
  3. Coordinated Breathing in Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) as Cooperation: Integrating Proximate and Ultimate Explanations By Amir Perelberg; Richard Schuster
  4. The Evolution of Fairness under an Assortative Matching Rule in the Ultimatum Game By Shirata, Yasuhiro
  5. Stochastically Stable Equilibria in Coordination Games with Multiple Populations By Maruta, Toshimasa; Okada, Akira
  6. Play to Learn? An Experiment By Martin Dufwenberg; J. Todd Swarthout
  7. Adaptive Learning and Complex Dynamics By Orlando Gomes

  1. By: Amir Perelberg; Richard Schuster
    Abstract: Cooperation poses theoretical problems because the behaviors of individuals can benefit others. Evolutionary and game-theory explanations that focus on maximizing one's own material outcomes are usually supported by experimental models with isolated and anonymous subjects. Cooperation in the natural world, however, is often a social act whereby familiar individuals coordinate behaviors for shared outcomes. Social cooperation is also associated with a cooperation bias expressed as a preference for cooperation even when noncooperation is immediately more beneficial. The authors report on evidence for such a bias in a captive group of bottlenose dolphins that voluntarily preferred to receive petting from human guides by using a pairwise coordinated approach, even though this was more difficult, and total petting amount was thereby reduced. To explain why this bias occurs, the authors propose an integrated behavioral-evolutionary approach whereby performance is determined by two kinds of immediate outcomes: material gains and intrinsic affective states associated with cooperating. The latter can provide reinforcement when immediate material gains are reduced, delayed, or absent. Over a lifetime, this proximate mechanism can lead to cooperative relationships whose long-term ultimate consequences can be adaptive.
    Date: 2009–03
  2. By: Berliant, Marcus
    Abstract: Applications of the framework of behavioral economics to questions arising from urban economics are discussed. Directions for future research are outlined.
    Keywords: Behavioral urban economics; ambiguity aversion; loss aversion; regional art
    JEL: C90 R23
    Date: 2009–04–30
  3. By: Amir Perelberg; Richard Schuster
    Abstract: In this study, coordinated breathing was studied in 13 common bottlenose dolphins because of its links with spontaneous coordinated behaviors (e.g., swimming, foraging, and playing). A strong link was shown between dyadic coordination levels and age/sex categories when both association patterns and spatial formation are considered. This is consistent with a significant influence of social relationships on cooperating and contrasts with an economic perspective based on immediate material outcomes alone. This cooperation bias is explained by linking proximate processes that evoke performance with ultimate evolutionary processes driven by long-term adaptive outcomes. Proximate processes can include 2 kinds of immediate outcomes: material reinforcements and affective states associated with acts of cooperating that can provide positive reinforcement regardless of immediate material benefits (e.g., when there is a time lag between cooperative acts and material outcomes). Affective states can then be adaptive by strengthening social relationships that lead to eventual gains in fitness.
    Date: 2009–03
  4. By: Shirata, Yasuhiro
    Abstract: This paper studies how a matching rule affects the evolution of fairness in an ultimatum mini game. Gale et al. [1995] show that only selfish behaviour survives in the deterministic replicator dynamics under the random matching rule. In contrast, this paper shows that, under an assortative matching rule, the fair behaviour may survive at an asymptotically stable state.
    Date: 2008–12
  5. By: Maruta, Toshimasa; Okada, Akira
    Abstract: We investigate the equilibrium selection problem in n-person binary coordination games by means of adaptive play with mistakes (Young 1993). The size and the depth of a particular type of basins of attraction are found to be the main factors in determining the selection outcome. The main result shows that if a strategy has the larger basin of attraction, and if it is deep enough, then the strategy constitutes a stochastically stable equilibrium. The existence of games with multiple stochastically stable equilibria is an immediate consequence of the result. We explicitly address the qualitative difference between selection results in multi-dimensional stochastic evolution models and those in single dimensional models, and shed some light on the source of the difference.
    Keywords: Equilibrium selection, stochastic stability, unanimity game, coordination game
    JEL: C70 C72 D70
    Date: 2009–01
  6. By: Martin Dufwenberg; J. Todd Swarthout
    Abstract: Does playing a game in class improve students' ability to analyze the game using game theory? We report results from an experimental design which allows us to test a series of related hypotheses. We fail to find support for the conjectured learning-enhancing effects and discuss what lessons can be learned substantially and methodologically.
    JEL: A22 C70
    Date: 2009–04
  7. By: Orlando Gomes (Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa - Escola Superior de Comunicação Social and UNIDE-ERC)
    Abstract: In this paper, we explore the dynamic properties of a group of simple deterministic difference equation systems in which the conventional perfect foresight assumption gives place to a mechanism of adaptive learning. These systems have a common feature: under perfect foresight (or rational expectations) they all possess a unique fixed point steady-state. This long term outcome is obtained also under learning if the quality underlying the learning process is high. Otherwise, when the innefficiency of the learning process is relatively strong, nonlinear dynamics (periodic and aperiodic cycles) arise. The specific properties of each one of the proposed systems is explored both in terms of local and global dynamics. Two macroeconomic models are used to illustrate how the formation of expectations through learning may eventually lead to awkward long term outcomes.
    Keywords: Adaptive Learning, Nonlinear Dynamics, Stability Properties, Economic Models.
    JEL: C61 C62 D84 E32
    Date: 2008–09

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