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Journal Articles Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization Year : 2021

The evolutionary stability of in-group altruism in productive and destructive group contests

Abstract

This article examines the evolutionary stability of other-regarding preferences in a group contest for a prize, which is endogenously determined. In a destructive contest, such as war, contest e¤orts of all groups decrease the value of the prize. In contrast, in a productive contest, such as a patent race, contest e¤orts of all groups increase the value of the prize. The indirect evolutionary approach allows to endogenize players'preferences, that is, the utility weights given by a group member, in her subjective utility function, to the mater- ial payo¤s of in-group and out-group members. After characterizing the set of evolutionarily stable preference types, I show that the evolutionary stable degree of in-group altruism is always stronger when the group contest is destructive than when it is productive. Moreover, when the group contest is strongly productive, preference evolution leads to in-group spite. However, a smaller group size and a larger number of competing groups makes this outcome less likely.
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hal-03233980 , version 1 (13-06-2023)

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Guillaume Cheikbossian. The evolutionary stability of in-group altruism in productive and destructive group contests. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2021, 188, pp.236-252. ⟨10.1016/j.jebo.2021.05.017⟩. ⟨hal-03233980⟩
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