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The Persistence of Goodness

Ashok S. Guha and Brishti Guha ()

Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), 2012, vol. 168, issue 3, 432-443

Abstract: Experimental evidence and economic examples like Basu's (1984) taxi-driver problem illustrate that many people are honest (or good) even when beyond the reach of the law, and without repeated interactions or reputation effects. We provide game-theoretic underpinnings of the level of goodness in a population. For appropriate parameter ranges, a certain level of good behaviour will emerge as an evolutionarily stable equilibrium: virtue will not be driven out of the population, even in a Darwinian world of the survival of the fittest. The long-run equilibrium proportion of good behaviour is independent of the level of intrinsic goodness.

JEL-codes: C72 C73 D03 D82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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