Evolution, Population Growth, and History Dependence

William H. Sandholm*, Ady Pauzner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We consider an evolutionary model with mutations which incorporates stochastic population growth. We provide a complete characterization of the effects of population growth on the evolution of play. In particular, we show that if the rate of population growth is at least logarithmic, the stochastic process describing play converges: only one equilibrium will be played from a certain point forward. If in addition the rate of mutation is taken to zero, the probability that the equilibrium selected is the first equilibrium played approaches one. Thus, population growth generates history dependence: the contingency of equilibrium selection on historical conditions.Journal of Economic LiteratureClassification Numbers: C72, C73, O33.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-120
Number of pages37
JournalGames and Economic Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998


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