Nash equilibrium and the evolution of preferences

Jeffrey C. Ely*, Okan Yilankaya

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


A population of players is randomly matched to play a normal form game G. The payoffs in this game represent the fitness associated with the various outcomes. Each individual has preferences over the outcomes of the game and chooses an optimal action with respect to those preferences. However, these preferences need not coincide with the fitness payoffs. When evolution selects individuals on the basis of the fitness of the actions they take, the distribution of aggregate play must be a Nash equilibrium of G. Weak additional assumptions on the evolutionary process imply perfect equilibrium. Journal of Economic Literature Classification Number: C72.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-272
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Economic Theory
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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