Individual Strategy and Social Structure: An Evolutionary Theory of Institutions

Individual Strategy and Social Structure: An Evolutionary Theory of Institutions

By: H. Peyton Young (author)Paperback

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Neoclassical economics as-sumes that people are highly rational and can reason their way through even the most complex economic problems. In Individual Strategy and Social Structure, Peyton Young argues for a more realistic view in which people have a limited understanding of their environment, are sometimes short-sighted, and occasionally act in perverse ways. He shows how the cumulative experiences of many such individuals coalesce over time into customs, norms, and institutions that govern economic and social life. He develops a theory that predicts how such institutions evolve and characterizes their welfare properties. The ideas are illustrated through a variety of examples, including patterns of residential segregation, rules of the road, claims on property, forms of economic contracts, and norms of equity. The book relies on new results in evolutionary game theory and stochastic dynamical systems theory, many of them originated by the author. It can serve as an introductory text, or be read on its own as a contribution to the study of economic and social institutions.

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About Author

H. Peyton Young is Scott and Barbara Black Professor of Economics at The Johns Hopkins University and a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of Equity: In Theory and Practice (Princeton).


PrefaceAcknowledgmentsCh. 1Overview3Ch. 2Learning25Ch. 3Dynamic and Stochastic Stability44Ch. 4Adaptive Learning in Small Games66Ch. 5Variations on the Learning Process77Ch. 6Local Interaction91Ch. 7Equilibrium and Disequilibrium Selection in General Games103Ch. 8Bargaining113Ch. 9Contracts131Ch. 10Conclusion144AppendixProofs of Selected Theorems151Notes173Bibliography177Index185

Product Details

  • publication date: 03/01/2001
  • ISBN13: 9780691086873
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 208
  • ID: 9780691086873
  • weight: 314
  • ISBN10: 0691086877

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