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Mogul games: In defense of inequality as an evolutionary strategy to cope with multiple agents of selection.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Deby L. Cassill

Alison L. Watkins

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In this paper, we propose that the “powerful and privileged” sustain their way of life through greed and they sustain the lives of others through trickledown sharing. Greed provides the powerful and privileged a buffer against famine. Trickledown sharing provides them a buffer against predation or war. The inspiration for this integration of greed and trickledown sharing as self-preservation strategies is a multi-selection model called skew selection. According to skew selection, when perennial organisms are subjected to cycles of famine and predation, greed and trickledown sharing increases the organism’s survival relative to a greed-only strategy. Skew selection is extended to explain greed and trickledown sharing among humans through the introduction of mogul games. The results of mogul games reported herein suggest that inequality is an emergent property of self-organizing systems and potentially an essential precursor to the evolution of social behavior. In the future, it is our hope that mogul game simulations will be employed by others to explore the effect of variation in cycles of predation and resource abundance on the rules of greed (resource acquisition) and trickledown sharing (resources redistribution).


Abstract only. Full-text article is available only through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in Advances in Austrian Economics, 7, 35-59. doi: 10.1016/S1529-2134(04)07003-6




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