Alger, Ingela and Weibull, Jörgen W. (2013) Homo moralis - Preference evolution under incomplete information and assortative matching. Econometrica, vol. 81 (n° 6). pp. 2269-2302.

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Identification Number : 10.3982/ECTA10637


What preferences will prevail in a society of rational individuals when preference evolution is driven by the resulting payoffs? We show that when individuals' preferences are their private information, a convex combination of selfishness and morality stands 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 own payoff. At the opposite end is homo kantiensis, who does what would be “the right thing to do,” in terms of payoffs, if all others would do likewise. We show that the stable degree of morality—the weight placed on the moral goal—is determined by the degree of assortativity in the process whereby individuals are matched to interact.

Item Type: Article
Language: English
Date: November 2013
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: evolutionary stability, preference evolution, moral values, incomplete information, assortative matching
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2014 17:40
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2023 10:38
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