Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Competitive Altruism, Mentalizing, and Signaling †

Competitive Altruism, Mentalizing, and Signaling † Abstract One 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 advantage over nonaltruists when they can signal their type, even though these signals are costly, when such signaling allows better matching opportunities. Finally, it shows how mentalizing leads to higher payoffs for both partners in a long-term relationship, modeled as a repeated game with private monitoring. (JEL C73, D64, D82 ) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Economic Journal: Microeconomics American Economic Association

Competitive Altruism, Mentalizing, and Signaling †

Loading next page...
 
/lp/american-economic-association/competitive-altruism-mentalizing-and-signaling-sXOAt32vks
Publisher
American Economic Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by the American Economic Association
Subject
Articles
ISSN
1945-7685
eISSN
1945-7685
DOI
10.1257/mic.6.4.272
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract One 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 advantage over nonaltruists when they can signal their type, even though these signals are costly, when such signaling allows better matching opportunities. Finally, it shows how mentalizing leads to higher payoffs for both partners in a long-term relationship, modeled as a repeated game with private monitoring. (JEL C73, D64, D82 )

Journal

American Economic Journal: MicroeconomicsAmerican Economic Association

Published: Nov 1, 2014

There are no references for this article.