Advertisement

Journal of Evolutionary Economics

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 579–603 | Cite as

Reciprocity—an indirect evolutionary analysis

  • Siegfried K. BerninghausEmail author
  • Christian Korth
  • Stefan Napel
Regular Article

Abstract

This paper investigates agents who face a stylized pecuniary ‘game of life’ comprising the ultimatum game and the dictator game. Utility may but need not be attached to equity and reciprocity, as formalized by Falk and Fischbacher (Games Econom Behav, 54(2): 293–315, 2006) but, critically, this social component of preferences cannot be conditioned on whether an ultimatum or a dictator game is played. Evolutionary fitness of agents is determined solely by material success. Under these conditions, a strong preference for reciprocity, but little interest in equity as such evolves. Possible exogenous constraints that link reciprocity and equity concerns imply long-run levels of both which depend on the relative frequency of ultimatum vs. dictator interaction in agents’ multi-game environment.

Keywords

Reciprocity Evolutionary stability Fairness 

JEL Classification

C78 C90 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Benaïm M, Weibull JW (2003) Deterministic approximation of stochastic evolution in games. Econometrica 71(3):873–903CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berninghaus SK, Ehrhart K-M, Ott M (2006) A network experiment in continuous time: the influence of link costs. Exp Econ 9(3):237–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berninghaus SK, Güth W, Kliemt H (2003) From teleology to evolution—bridging the gap between rationality and adaptation in social explanation. J Evol Econ 13(4):385–410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bolton GE, Ockenfels A (2000) ERC—a theory of equity, reciprocity and competition. Am Econ Rev 90(1):166–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cameron LA (1999) Raising the stakes in the ultimatum game: experimental evidence from Indonesia. Econ Inq 37(1):47–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Charness G, Rabin M (2002) Understanding social preferences with simple tests. Q J Econ 117:817–869CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dekel E, Ely JC, Yilankaya O (2005) Evolution of preferences. Mimeo, Northwestern University and University of British Columbia. [http://www.faculty.econ.northwestern.edu/faculty/ely/evlprf.pdf]
  8. Dufwenberg M, Kirchsteiger G (2004) A theory of sequential reciprocity. Games Econom Behav 47:268–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Falk A, Fehr E, Fischbacher U (2003) On the nature of fair behavior. Econ Inq 41(1):20–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Falk A, Fischbacher U (2006) A theory of reciprocity. Games Econom Behav 54(2):293–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Falk A, Kosfeld M (2003) It’s all about connections: evidence on network formation. IEW Working Paper 146, University of ZürichGoogle Scholar
  12. Fehr E, Gächter S (1998) Reciprocity and economics. The economic implications of homo reciprocans. Eur Econ Rev 42:845–859CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fehr E, Schmidt KM (1999) A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation. Q J Econ 114(3):817–868CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gale J, Binmore KG, Samuelson L (1995) Learning to be imperfect: The ultimatum game. Games Econom Behav 8(1):56–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Geanakoplos J, Pearce D, Stacchetti E (1989) Psychological games and sequential rationality. Games Econom Behav 1:60–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Güth W, Kliemt H, Napel S (2003) Wie du mir, so ich dir!—Evolutionäre Modellierungen. In: Held M, Kubon-Gilke G, Sturn R (eds) Jahrbuch Normative und Institutionelle Grundfragen der Ökonomik, Band 2: Experimentelle Ökonomik, pp 113–139. Metropolis-Verlag, MarburgGoogle Scholar
  17. Güth W, Napel S (2006) Inequality aversion in a variety of games—An indirect evolutionary analysis. Econ J 116:1037–1056CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Henrich J, Boyd R, Bowles S, Camerer C, Fehr E, Gintis H, McElreath R (2001) In search of homo economicus: behavioral experiments in 15 small-scale societies. Am Econ Rev 91(2):73–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Huck S, Oechssler J (1999) The indirect evolutionary approach to explaining fair allocations. Games Econom Behav 28(1):13–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Napel S (2003) Aspiration adaptation in the ultimatum minigame. Games Econom Behav 43(1):86–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Nowak MA, Page KM (2002) Empathy leads to fairness. Bull Math Biol 64:1101–1116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nowak MA, Page KM, Sigmund K (2000) Fairness versus reason in the ultimatum game. Science 289(5485):1773–1775CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Oechssler J, Riedel F (2001) Evolutionary dynamics on infinite strategy spaces. Econ Theory 17:141–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Oechssler J, Riedel F (2002) On the dynamic foundation of evolutionary stability in continuous models. J Econ Theory 107:223–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Possajennikov A (2005) Cooperation and competition: learning of strategies and evolution of preferences in prisoners’ dilemma and hawk-dove games. Int Game Theory Rev 7:443–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Poulsen A, Poulsen O (2006) Endogenous preferences and social dilemma institutions. Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics 162:627–660CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rabin M (1993) Incorporating fairness into game theory and economics. Am Econ Rev 83(5):1281–1302Google Scholar
  28. Roth AE, Erev I (1995) Learning in extensive-form games: experimental data and simple dynamic models of the intermediate term. Games Econom Behav 8(1):164–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Samuelson L (2001) Introduction to the evolution of preferences. J Econ Theory 97:225–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Slonim R, Roth AE (1998) Learning in high stakes ultimatum games: An experiment in the Slovak Republic. Econometrica 66(3):569–596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Stahl DO, Haruvy E (2007) Level-n bounded rationality in two-player two-stage games. J Econ Behav Organ (in press)Google Scholar
  32. Weibull JW (1995) Evolutionary game theory. MIT, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Siegfried K. Berninghaus
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christian Korth
    • 2
  • Stefan Napel
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Economics and Business EngineeringUniversity of KarlsruheKarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.HamburgGermany
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

Personalised recommendations