On the evolution of attitudes towards risk in winner-take-all games

Eddie Dekel*, Suzanne Scotchmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


A long-standing conjecture is that winner-take-all games such as patent races lead to the survival of risk-takers and the extinction of risk-averters. In many species a winner-take-all game determines the males' right to reproduce, and the same argument suggests that males will evolve to be risk-takers. Psychological and sociological evidence buttresses the argument that males are more risk-taking than females. Using an evolutionary model of preference-formation, we investigate to what extent evolution leads to risk-taking in winner-take-all environments. Journal of Economic Literature Classification Numbers: C7, D8.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-143
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Economic Theory
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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