Computational Economics

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 83–103 | Cite as

Paradox Lost: The Evolution of Strategies in Selten’s Chain Store Game

  • William M. TracyEmail author


The classical game theoretic resolutions to Selten’s Chain Store game are unsatisfactory; they either alter the game to avoid the paradox or struggle to organize the existing experimental data. This paper applies co-evolutionary algorithms to the Chain Store game and demonstrates that the resulting system’s dynamics are neither intuitively paradoxical nor contradicted by the existing experimental data. Specifically, some parameterizations of evolutionary algorithms promote genetic drift. Such drift can lead the system to transition among the game’s various Nash Equilibria. This has implications for policy makers as well as for computational modelers.


Market entry Evolutionary Computation Genetic drift Equilibria selection Chain Store Paradox Genetic Algorithms 



This work benefited substantially from conversations with John Miller, Bill McKelvey, Scott Carr, and John Holland. Comments from Computational Economics Editor Hans Amman and anonymous reviewers also significantly improved this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteLally School of Management and TechnologyTroyUSA

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