The Bounds of Reason: Game Theory and the Unification of the Behavioral Sciences

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1 The Bounds of Reason: Game Theory and the Unification of the Behavioral Sciences

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3 The Bounds of Reason: Game Theory and the Unification of the Behavioral Sciences Herbert Gintis Princeton University Press Princeton, New Jersey

4 Copyright c2008 by Princeton University Press Published by Princeton University Press, 41 William Street, Princeton, New Jersey In the United Kingdom: Princeton University Press, 3 Market Place, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1SY All Rights Reserved Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Gintis, Herbert The Bounds of Reason Herbert Gintis p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN (cloth: alk. paper) ISBN (pbk.: alk. paper) 1. Game theory. 2. Economics, Mathematical. I. Title. HB144.G dc This book has been composed in Times and Mathtime by the author The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of ANSI/NISO Z (R1997) (Permanence of Paper) Printed in the United States of America (pbk.)

5 This book is dedicated to Morris and Henrietta Malena, Gerson Gintis, and Flora and Melvin Greisler. We get along without you very well. Of course we do. There is no sorrow so great that it does not find its background in joy. Neils Bohr

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7 Contents Preface xiii 1 Decision Theory and Human Behavior Beliefs, Preferences, and Constraints The Meaning of Rational Action Why Are Preferences Consistent? Time Inconsistency Bayesian Rationality and Subjective Priors The Biological Basis for Expected Utility The Allais and Ellsberg Paradoxes Risk and the Shape of the Utility Function Prospect Theory Heuristics and Biases in Decision-making 26 2 Game Theory: Basic Concepts The Extensive Form The Normal Form Mixed Strategies Nash Equilibrium The Fundamental Theorem of Game Theory Solving for Mixed Strategy Nash Equilibria Throwing Fingers Battle of the Sexes The Hawk-Dove Game The Prisoner s Dilemma Alice, Bob, and the Choreographer An Efficiency-enhancing Choreographer The Correlated Equilibrium Solution Concept 45 3 Game Theory and Human Behavior Self- and Other-regarding Preferences 48

8 viii Contents 3.2 Methodological Issues in Behavioral Game Theory An Anonymous Market Exchange The Rationality of Altruistic Giving Conditional Altruistic Cooperation Altruistic Punishment Strong Reciprocity in the Labor Market Altruistic Third Party Punishment Altruism and Cooperation in Groups Inequality Aversion The Trust Game Character Virtues The Situational Character of Preferences The Dark Side of Altruistic Cooperation The Legitimacy of Cooperation: Cultural Variation 80 4 Rationalizability and Common Knowledge of Rationality Epistemic Games A Simple Epistemic Game An Epistemic Battle of the Sexes Dominated and Iteratedly Dominated Strategies Eliminating Weakly Dominated Strategies Rationalizable Strategies Eliminating Strongly Dominated Strategies Common Knowledge of Rationality Rationalizability and Common Knowledge of Rationality The Beauty Contest The Traveler s Dilemma The Modified Traveler s Dilemma Global Games CKR is a Condition, not a Premise Extensive Form Rationalizability Backward Induction and Dominated Strategies Subgame Perfection Subgame Perfection and Incredible Threats The Surprise Examination The Common Knowledge of Logicality Paradox The Repeated Prisoner s Dilemma 109

9 Contents ix 5.7 The Centipede Game CKR Fails off the Backward Induction Path How to Play the Repeated Prisoner s Dilemma The Modal Logic of Knowledge Backward Induction and Extensive Form CKR Rationality and Extensive Form CKR On the Nonexistence of CKR The Mixing Problem: Purification and Conjectures Why Play Mixed Strategies? Harsanyi s Purification Theorem A Reputational Model of Honesty and Corruption Purifying Honesty and Corruption Epistemic Games: Mixed Strategies as Conjectures Resurrecting the Conjecture Approach to Purification Bayesian Rationality and Social Epistemology From Battle to Ballet of the Sexes The Choreographer Trumps Backward Induction The Bourgois Equilibrium of the Hawk-Dove Game Convention as Correlated Equilibrium Correlated Strategies and Correlated Equilibria Correlated Equilibrium and Bayesian Rationality The Social Epistemology of Common Priors The Social Epistemology of Common Knowledge Social Norms Game Theory and the Evolution of Norms The Merchants Wares Common Knowledge and Nash Equilibrium Conditions for Nash Equilibrium in Two-Player Games A Three-player Counterexample The Modal Logic of Common Knowledge The Commonality of Knowledge The Tactful Ladies The Tactful Ladies and the Commonality of Knowledge Agreeing to Disagree The Demise of Methodological Individualism 162

10 x Contents 9 Reflective Reason and Equilibrium Refinements Perfect, Perfect Bayesian, and Sequential Equilibria Incredible Threats Unreasonable Perfect Bayesian Equilibria The LBR Picks Out the Sequential Equilibrium Selten s Horse: Sequentiality and LBR Disagree The Spence Signaling Model Irrelevant Node Additions Improper Sequential Equilibria Second-order Forward Induction Beer and Quiche without the Intuitive Criterion An Unreasonable Perfect Equilibrium The Principle of Insufficient Reason The Principle of Honest Communication Discussion The Analytics of Human Sociality Explaining Cooperation: An Overview Bob and Alice Redux The Folk Theorem The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information Cooperation with Private Signaling One Cheer for the Folk Theorem Altruistic Punishing in the Public Goods Game The Failure of Models of Self-regarding Cooperation The Evolution of Private Property The Endowment Effect The Territoriality Property Rights in Young Children Respect for Possession in Nonhuman Animals Conditions for Private Property Equilibrium Property and Anti-Property Equilibria An Anti-Private Property Equilibrium Conclusion The Unification of the Behavioral Sciences Introduction 222

11 Contents xi 12.2 Gene-culture Coevolution: The Biological Model Biological and Cultural Dynamics The Theory of Norms: The Sociological Model Socialization and the Internalization of Norms The Rational Actor: The Economic Model Deliberative Choice: The Psychological Model Application: Addictive Behavior Game Theory: The Universal Lexicon of Life Epistemic Game Theory and Social Norms Society as Complex Adaptive System Counterpoint: Biology Counterpoint: Economics Counterpoint: Psychology Conclusion Summary Table of Symbols 250 References 253 Index 281

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