Competitive Altruism, Mentalizing, and Signaling
- (pp. 272-92)
AbstractOne explanation of altruism is that it arises from "mentalizing", the process of understanding the mental states of others. Another is based on sexual selection: altruism is a costly signal of good genes. This paper shows that these two arguments are stronger together in that altruists who can mentalize have a greater ad- vantage over non-altruists when they can signal their type, even though these signals are costly, when such signalling allows better matching opportunities. Finally, it shown how mentalizing leads to higher payoffs for both partners in a long-term relationship, modeled as a repeated game with private monitoring.
CitationHopkins, Ed. 2014. "Competitive Altruism, Mentalizing, and Signaling." American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 6 (4): 272-92. DOI: 10.1257/mic.6.4.272
- C73 Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games; Repeated Games
- D64 Altruism; Philanthropy
- D82 Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
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