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The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics

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Equilibrium Social Hierarchies: A Non-Cooperative Ordinal Status Game

Rein Haagsma1 / Pierre van Mouche2

1Wageningen University,

2Wageningen University,

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics. Volume 10, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1935-1704, DOI: 10.2202/1935-1704.1585, June 2010

Publication History

Published Online:
2010-06-07

We analyze a game in strategic form, where each player's payoff depends on his action and his social status, which is given by his rank in the actions distribution. Our focus is on the relation between the degree of heterogeneity among status-seeking players and the distribution of their Nash equilibrium actions. We find that if among players intrinsic concerns are sufficiently important relative to status concerns, individual equilibrium actions diverge, but if status concerns are relatively important, individual equilibrium actions are the same. Another key result of the analysis is that, in contrast to what is usually claimed, status seeking need not always be socially inefficient. If players are sufficiently heterogeneous, there exists a Nash equilibrium that is unique, separating, and Pareto efficient.

Keywords: social status; heterogeneity; Pareto efficiency; game in strategic form; discontinuous payoff function; Nash equilibrium

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[1]
Ennio Bilancini and Leonardo Boncinelli
European Economic Review, 2014, Volume 67, Page 174

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