Homo Moralis-Preference evolution under incomplete information and assortative matching

Alger, Ingela and Weibull, Jörgen W. (2012) Homo Moralis-Preference evolution under incomplete information and assortative matching. LERNA Working Paper, n. 12.17.374

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Official URL: http://tse-fr.eu/pub/26537


What preferences will prevail in a society of rational individuals when preference
evolution is driven by their success in terms of resulting payoffs? We show that when individuals’ preferences are their private information, a convex combinations of selfishness and morality stand out as evolutionarily stable. We call individuals with such preferences homo moralis. At one end of the spectrum is homo oeconomicus, who acts so as to maximize his or her material payoff. At the opposite end is homo kantiensis, who does what would be “the right thing to do,” in terms of material payoffs, if all others would do likewise. We show that the stable degree of morality - the weight placed on the moral goal - equals the index of assortativity in the matching process. The motivation of homo moralis is arguably compatible with how people often reason, and the induced behavior agrees with pro-social behaviors observed in many laboratory experiments.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Language: English
Date: February 2012
JEL codes: C73 - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games; Repeated Games
D03 - Behavioral Economics; Underlying Principles
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2014 17:30
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2018 13:22
OAI ID: oai:tse-fr.eu:26537
URI: http://publications.ut-capitole.fr/id/eprint/15435

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