Evolution and Learning Dynamics of Costly Signals

Moshe Hoffman
Harvard University

The project is coauthored with Martin Nowak (Director of Harvard's Program for Evolutionary Dynamics), Alex Peysakhovich (Postdoc of Dave Rand at Yale), and Carl Veller (Grad Student Harvard Economics), and Matthijs van Veelen (Professor of economics University of Amsterdam)

In this paper we investigate the standard game theory model of costly signaling, which has been used to explain diverse phenomena ranging from conspicuous consumption to bird chirping to religious rituals, but instead of employing the hyper-rationality assumptions typically used to justify the costly signaling equilibrium, we will demonstrate that this equilibrium can emerge in various models of learning and evolution. Moreover, these dynamics models yield novel predictions as to how costly the costly signals will be as well as when we should expect to costly signals to emerge.

Presentation (PDF File)

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