Identity, Utility, and Cooperative Behaviour: An Evolutionary Perspective

26 Pages Posted: 24 May 2011

See all articles by Philipp C. Wichardt

Philipp C. Wichardt

University of Rostock - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 2011

Abstract

This paper provides an argument for the advantage of a preference for identity‐consistent behaviour from an evolutionary point of view. Within a stylized model of social interaction, it is shown that the development of cooperative social norms is greatly facilitated if the agents possess a preference for identity‐consistent behaviour. As compliance with cooperative norms (in the long run) has a positive effect on the agents’ pay‐offs, it is argued that such a preference is evolutionarily advantageous. Notably, the argument, which assumes that agents always act in accordance with their preferences, also accounts for the cost of those features that are crucial for the selection process.

Keywords: Cooperation, identity, social norms, utility

JEL Classification: A13, D01, Z13

Suggested Citation

Wichardt, Philipp C., Identity, Utility, and Cooperative Behaviour: An Evolutionary Perspective (June 2011). Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 113, Issue 2, pp. 418-443, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1851188 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9442.2011.01646.x

Philipp C. Wichardt (Contact Author)

University of Rostock - Department of Economics ( email )

Ulmenstr. 69
Rostock, 18057
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
1
Abstract Views
387
PlumX Metrics