nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2010‒04‒11
six papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Pure Saddle Points and Symmetric Relative Payoff Games By Duersch, Peter; Oechssler, Jörg; Schipper, Burkhard C.
  2. Game theory on strategic communication: an approach from Thomas S. Schelling By Estrada, Fernando
  3. Unbeatable Imitation By Duersch, Peter; Oechssler, Jörg; Schipper, Burkhard C.
  4. Recent Advances in the Economics of Individual Subjective Well-Being By Stutzer, Alois; Frey, Bruno S.
  5. DEoptim: An R Package for Global Optimization by Differential Evolution By Mullen, Katharine M.; Ardia, David; Gil, David L.; Windover, Donald; Cline, James
  6. Work Values, Endogenous Sentiments and Redistribution By Matteo Cervellati; Joan Esteban; Laurence Kranich

  1. By: Duersch, Peter; Oechssler, Jörg; Schipper, Burkhard C.
    Abstract: It is well known that the rock-paper-scissors game has no pure saddle point. We show that this holds more generally: A symmetric two-player zero-sum game has a pure saddle point if and only if it is not a generalized rock-paper-scissors game. Moreover, we show that every finite symmetric quasiconcave two-player zero-sum game has a pure saddle point. Further sufficient conditions for existence are provided. We apply our theory to a rich collection of examples by noting that the class of symmetric two-player zero-sum games coincides with the class of relative payoff games associated with symmetric two-player games. This allows us to derive results on the existence of a finite population evolutionary stable strategies.
    Keywords: Symmetric two-player games; zero-sum games; Rock-Paper-Scissors; single-peakedness; quasiconcavity.
    JEL: C73 C72
    Date: 2010–03–30
  2. By: Estrada, Fernando
    Abstract: In their recent work Thomas S. Schelling (2007, 2010), reiterating original arguments about game theory and its applications to social sciences. In particular, game theory helps to explore situations in which agents make decisions interdependent (strategic communication). Schelling's originality is to extend economic theory to social sciences. When a player can anticipate the options and influence the decisions of others. The strategy, indirect communication plays a crucial role. To illustrate, we investigate how to perform the payoff matrix in cases of bribery and threat
    Keywords: Social Science; Schelling; game theory; strategic communications; bribes; threats.
    JEL: B0 D81 A1 D82 C70 C7 B00 D84 D7 D8 D80 C72
    Date: 2010–03–30
  3. By: Duersch, Peter; Oechssler, Jörg; Schipper, Burkhard C.
    Abstract: We show that for many classes of symmetric two-player games, the simple decision rule "imitate-the-best" can hardly be beaten by any other decision rule. We provide necessary and sufficient conditions for imitation to be unbeatable and show that it can only be beaten by much in games that are of the rock-scissors-paper variety. Thus, in many interesting examples, like 2x2 games, Cournot duopoly, price competition, rent seeking, public goods games, common pool resource games, minimum effort coordination games, arms race, search, bargaining, etc., imitation cannot be beaten by much even by a very clever opponent.
    Keywords: Imitate-the-best; learning; symmetric games; relative payoffs; zero- sum games.
    JEL: C72 C73 D43
    Date: 2010–03–30
  4. By: Stutzer, Alois (University of Basel); Frey, Bruno S. (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: Over the last decades, empirical research on subjective well-being in the social sciences has provided a major new stimulus to the discourse on individual happiness. Recently this research has also been linked to economics where reported subjective wellbeing is often taken as a proxy measure for individual welfare. In our review, we intend to provide an evaluation of where the economic research on happiness stands and of three directions it might develop. First, it offers new ways for testing the basic assumptions of the economic approach and for going about a new understanding of utility. Second, it provides a new possibility for the complementary testing of theories across fields in economics. Third, we inquire how the insights gained from the study of individual happiness in economics affect public policy.
    Keywords: economics, happiness, life satisfaction, survey data, income, public goods, unemployment
    JEL: A10 D60 H41 I31
    Date: 2010–03
  5. By: Mullen, Katharine M.; Ardia, David; Gil, David L.; Windover, Donald; Cline, James
    Abstract: This article describes the R package DEoptim which implements the differential evolution algorithm for the global optimization of a real-valued function of a real-valued parameter vector. The implementation of differential evolution in DEoptim interfaces with C code for efficiency. The utility of the package is illustrated via case studies in fitting a Parratt model for X-ray reflectometry data and a Markov-Switching Generalized AutoRegressive Conditional Heteroskedasticity (MSGARCH) model for the returns of the Swiss Market Index.
    Keywords: global optimization; evolutionary algorithm; differential evolution; R software
    JEL: C51 C61 C22 C15 C80
    Date: 2009–12–21
  6. By: Matteo Cervellati; Joan Esteban; Laurence Kranich
    Abstract: We examine the interactions between individual behavior, sentiments and the social contract in a model of rational voting over redistribution. Agents have moral "work values". Individuals' self-esteem and social consideration of others are endogenously determined comparing behaviors to moral standards. Attitudes toward redistribution depend on self-interest and social preferences. We characterize the politico-economic equilibria in which sentiments, labor supply and redistribution are determined simultaneously. The equilibria feature different degrees of "social cohesion" and redistribution depending on pre-tax income inequality. In clustered equilibria the poor are held partly responsible for their low income since they work less than the moral standard and hence redistribution is low. The paper proposes a novel explanation for the emergence of different sentiments and social contracts across countries. The predictions appear broadly in line with well-documented differences between the United States and Europe.
    Keywords: Social Contract, Endogenous Sentiments, Voting over Taxes, Moral Work Values, Redistribution, Income Inequality, Politico-Economic Equilibria.
    JEL: D64 D72 Z13 H3 J2
    Date: 2010–03–25

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