Computational Economics

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 233–249 | Cite as

The Cognitive Origins of Social Stratification

  • Robert Hoffmann


In evolutionary psychology, cultural phenomena are explained with reference to evolved psychological processes. This paper presents an economic approach to explore this link by demonstrating how social stratification can arise in game-playing populations as a result of social categorisation of and inference from arbitrary agent traits. The computer simulation of the model demonstrates that agents' increasing ability to categorise opponents in the chicken game generates an increasing number of social groups whose members share commonality of fate both in terms of opponent behaviour and payoff levels.


social cognition social stratification categorisation chicken game 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nottingham University Business SchoolNottinghamUnited Kingdom

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