How we cooperate: A Kantian explanation by J.E. Roemer

AFD - 75012
23 October 2018 to 23 October 2018 16h - 18h

The next session of the Research Seminar of the Chair Energy and Prosperity will take place on Thuesday 23 of October at 4:00 PM at the Agence Française de Développement. We will receive John E. Roemer (Yale University) for an initial speach on:

How we cooperate: A Kantian explanation

Standard game theory’s theory of cooperation is based upon threatened punishment of non-cooperators in a repeated game, which induces a Nash equilibrium in which cooperation is observed. Thus, cooperation in games is explained as a non-cooperative equilibrium.  Behavioral economics, on the other hand, explains cooperative behavior by inserting ‘exotic’ arguments into preferences (altruism, fairness, etc.), and again deducing cooperation as a Nash equilibrium in a game with non-standard preferences.   In both variants, cooperation is envisaged as achievable as a Nash equilibrium.

A more compelling approach is to model individuals as using a Kantian optimization protocol, but with standard, non-exotic preferences.  The Kantian protocol inserts morality not into preferences, but into the optimization protocol, and these are distinctly different approaches, as I show. We deduce cooperation in one-shot games in Kantian equilibrium. Kantian optimization resolves both tragedies of the commons and the provision of public goods: Kantian equilibria, in both cases, are Pareto efficient, in contrast to Nash equilibrium.  Furthermore, I characterize the class of 2 x 2 symmetric games in which Kantian optimizers will drive Nash optimizers to extinction, and conversely; both are non-empty classes.

Date :  October 23 4:00 to 6:00 PM
Place :  AFD – 5 Rue Roland Barthes, 75012 Paris – Attention : une pièce d’identité vous sera demandée à l’entrée du bâtiment et prévoyez d’être un peu en avance (du fait des contrôles de sécurité).

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The seminar of the Chair Energy & Prosperity is dedicated to encourage discussion between members of the Chair that are affiliated in different academic institutions. It allows them to present and discuss their ongoing work to research associates. External researchers are also invited to assist or to speak in the seminar in order to open the scientific horizon on the 3 axis of the chair.

It is organized by Adrien Nguyen Huu (Université de Montpellier).