Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics

No 01-3: Reciprocity, Materialism and Welfare: An Evolutionary Model

Anders Poulsen ()
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Anders Poulsen: Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, Postal: Prismet, Silkeborgvej 2, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

Abstract: This paper analyses preference evolution in a bargaining situation. We show that preferences for reciprocity, that sustain a conflict-free outcome, are viable if players have enough information about opponents’ preferences. However, depending on the initial starting point, preference evolution can in general both enhance or reduce subjective and material welfare, relative to the situation where all players have the usual materialistic preferences.

Keywords: Preference evolution; Reciprocity; Altruism; Materialism; Subjective and material eciency; Bargaining; Indirect evolutionary approach

18 pages, March 19, 2001

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