nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2010‒02‒20
five papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Cooperation and diversity. An evolutionary approach By Bruni, Luigino; Smerilli, Alessandra
  2. On a General class of stochastic co-evolutionary dynamics By Mathias Staudigl
  3. Strategic Sophistication of Individuals and Teams in Experimental Normal-Form Games By Sutter, Matthias; Czermak, Simon; Feri, Francesco
  4. So you want to run an experiment, now what? Some Simple Rules of Thumb for Optimal Experimental Design By John A. List; Sally Sadoff; Mathis Wagner
  5. A behavioral model of simultaneous borrowing and saving By Basu, Karna

  1. By: Bruni, Luigino; Smerilli, Alessandra
    Abstract: n this paper we propose a pluralistic and multi-dimensional ap- proach to cooperation. Specifically, we seek to show that, in certain settings, less unconditional forms of cooperation may be combined with more gratuitous ones. Starting with the prisoner’s dilemma game, the evolution of cooperation is analyzed in the presence of different strate- gies, which represent the heterogeneity of the forms of cooperation in civil life. There are many behaviour patterns, though not all of them are based on self-interest and conditionality. The dynamics of coop- eration are studied through the use of evolutionary games applied in contexts that are either one-shot or repetitive. One of the most impor- tant results of the paper is the conclusion that cooperation is favoured by heterogeneity.
    Keywords: cooperation; Prisoner’s Dilemma; reciprocity; hetero- geneity; evolutionary game theory
    JEL: D64 C73 C72
    Date: 2010–01
  2. By: Mathias Staudigl
    Abstract: This paper presents a unified framework to study the co-evolution of networks and play, using the language of evolutionary game theory. We show by examples that the set-up is rich enough to encompass many recent models discussed by the literature. We completely characterize the invariant distribution of such processes and show how to calculate stochastically stable states by means of a treecharacterization algorithm. Moreover, specializing the process a bit further allows us to completely characterize the generated random graph ensemble. This new result demonstrates a new and rather general relation between random graph theory and evolutionary models with endogenous interaction structures.
    JEL: C02 C73 C45 D85
    Date: 2010–02
  3. By: Sutter, Matthias (University of Innsbruck); Czermak, Simon (University of Innsbruck); Feri, Francesco (University of Innsbruck)
    Abstract: We present an experiment on strategic thinking and behavior of individuals and teams in one-shot normal-form games. Besides making choices, decision makers have to state their first- and second-order beliefs. We find that teams play the Nash strategy significantly more often, and their choices are more often consistent by being a best reply to first order beliefs. We identify the complexity of a game and the payoffs in equilibrium as determining the likelihood of consistent behavior according to textbook rationality. Using a mixture model, the estimated probability to play strategically is 62% for teams, but only 40% for individuals.
    Keywords: strategic sophistication, beliefs, experiment, team decision making, individual decision making
    JEL: C72 C91 C92
    Date: 2010–01
  4. By: John A. List; Sally Sadoff; Mathis Wagner
    Abstract: Experimental economics represents a strong growth industry. In the past several decades the method has expanded beyond intellectual curiosity, now meriting consideration alongside the other more traditional empirical approaches used in economics. Accompanying this growth is an influx of new experimenters who are in need of straightforward direction to make their designs more powerful. This study provides several simple rules of thumb that researchers can apply to improve the efficiency of their experimental designs. We buttress these points by including empirical examples from the literature.
    JEL: C9 C91 C92 C93
    Date: 2010–01
  5. By: Basu, Karna
    Abstract: Why do individuals borrow and save money at the same time? I present a model in which sophisticated time-inconsistent agents, when faced with a future investment opportunity, rationally choose to save their wealth and then borrow to fund the investment. The combination of savings and a loan generates incentives for future selves to invest optimally by punishing over-consumption. This paper contains two main results. First, I show that agents who simultaneously save and borrow can have higher lifetime welfare than those who don’t. Second, I show that agents who have access to a non-secure savings technology can be better off than those who only have access to secure savings.
    Keywords: saving; borrowing; microfinance; hyperbolic discounting
    JEL: O1 O12
    Date: 2009

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