Evolving to the Impatience Trap: The Example of the Farmer-Sheriff Game
FRB of St. Louis Working Paper No. 2012-033A
31 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2012
Date Written: September 18, 2011
The literature on the evolution of impatience, focusing on one-person decision problems, finds that evolutionary forces favor the more patient individuals. This paper shows that in the context of a game, this is not necessarily the case. In particular, it offers a two-population example where evolutionary forces favor impatience in one group while favoring patience in the other. Moreover, not only evolution but also efficiency may prefer impatient individuals. In our example, it is efficient for one population to evolve impatience and for the other to develop patience. Yet, evolutionary forces move the wrong populations.
Keywords: Impatience trap, evolutionary preference, efficiency
JEL Classification: D01 D03
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation