, Volume 196, Issue 1, pp 413–427 | Cite as

Minority (dis)advantage in population games

  • Justin P. BrunerEmail author


We identify a novel ‘cultural red king effect’ that, in many cases, results in stable arrangements which are to the detriment of minority groups. In particular, we show inequalities disadvantaging minority groups can naturally arise under an adaptive process when minority and majority members must routinely determine how to divide resources amongst themselves. We contend that these results show how inequalities disadvantaging minorities can likely arise by dint of their relative size and need not be a result of either explicit nor implicit prejudices, nor due to intrinsic differences between minority and majority members.


Social philosophy Social norms Game theory Evolutionary game theory Bargaining Distributive justice 



Thanks to Brian Skyrms, Simon Huttegger, Jean-Paul Carvalo, Peter Vanderschraaf, Cailin O’Connor, Kim Sterelny and Bob Goodin for comments and suggestions. Additional thanks to audience members of the Social Dynamics Seminar at UC Irvine, Moral, Social and Political Theory Workshop at ANU, Formal Ethics 2015 at Bayreuth, the 2014 meeting of the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics and Culture at Chapman University and the Philosophy Seminar Series at Monash University.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Politics and International RelationsAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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