Social status is the prestige or reputation afforded a member of society by the other members of the society. High status people have their pick of partners, lots of power and desirable friends; low status people must suffice with whatever the high status people do not want. Despite the inequalities inherent in the status system, it facilitates economic cooperation and, if the members pursue status games that enhance welfare, it can lead to a society’s economic prosperity. [...] But the framework of justice does not provide good guidance in situations where the circumstances don’t discriminate well between the competitors. Consider a situation where there are 5 women in a bar and ten men, or ten women in the marriage market, some of whom are prettier than others, or a box of donuts on the table to be shared amongst members of a team, some of which are glazed and big, and some of which are small. If players are aware of each other’s social status, then we can expect that in these types of competitions for scarce resources, the higher status player will always claim first. As Myerson showed, this is a stable set of events; as long as everyone expects the higher status player to claim first, then the lower status players are better off taking the second pick. This is not cooperation in the traditional sense, but from an economic perspective, the players are cooperating because they agree on the outcome and they are both happy with the payoff.
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