Individual Strategy and Social Structure: An Evolutionary Theory of Institutions by H. Peyton YoungIndividual Strategy and Social Structure: An Evolutionary Theory of Institutions by H. Peyton Young

Individual Strategy and Social Structure: An Evolutionary Theory of Institutions

byH. Peyton Young

Paperback | January 23, 2001

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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.

H. Peyton Young is Scott and Barbara Black Professor of Economics at The Johns Hopkins University and Codirector of the Centeron Social and Economic Dynamics at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of Equity: In Theory and Practice (Princeton).
Title:Individual Strategy and Social Structure: An Evolutionary Theory of InstitutionsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:208 pagesPublished:January 23, 2001Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691086877

ISBN - 13:9780691086873

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Table of Contents



Ch. 1 Overview 3

Ch. 2 Learning 25

Ch. 3 Dynamic and Stochastic Stability 44

Ch. 4 Adaptive Learning in Small Games 66

Ch. 5 Variations on the Learning Process 77

Ch. 6 Local Interaction 91

Ch. 7 Equilibrium and Disequilibrium Selection in General Games 103

Ch. 8 Bargaining 113

Ch. 9 Contracts 131

Ch. 10 Conclusion 144

Appendix Proofs of Selected Theorems 151

Notes 173

Bibliography 177

Index 185

Editorial Reviews

"In this well written and elegant volume, Peyton Young takes a large step in redirecting the theory and the problems that game theorists deal with. Rather than asking what is the proper equilibrium notion for a game played by fully rational agents capable of making all necessary calculations, he asks what types of conventions of behavior or social institutions will intelligent but not omniscient agents create for themselves when they repeatedly face the same problem that needs to be solved. Clearly this is what the real world looks like and Young brings us closer to it."-Andrew Schotter, New York University