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Public Goods Games, Altruism, and Evolution

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  • INGELA ALGER

Abstract

I analyze the evolution of altruistic preferences in a population where individuals are matched pairwise to play a one-shot public goods game. I determine the evolutionarily stable degree of altruism, allowing for assortative matching. The stable degree of altruism is strictly smaller than the degree of assortativity. In particular, if matching is completely random, spite is stable, and a positive degree of assortativity is necessary for pure selfishness to be stable. Furthermore, the stable degree of altruism is increasing in the degree of assortativity, and it depends on the specifics of the public goods game. Copyright � 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Association for Public Economic Theory in its journal Journal of Public Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 12 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (08)
Pages: 789-813

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:12:y:2010:i:4:p:789-813

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References

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  1. Theodore C. Bergstrom, 2002. "Evolution of Social Behavior: Individual and Group Selection," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 67-88, Spring.
  2. Ted Bergstrom, . "On the Evolution of Altruistic Ethical Rules for Siblings," Papers, University of Michigan, Department of Economics _023, University of Michigan, Department of Economics.
  3. Bester, Helmut & Guth, Werner, 1998. "Is altruism evolutionarily stable?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 193-209, February.
  4. Robin P. Cubitt & Michalis Drouvelis & Simon Gächter, 2008. "Framing and Free Riding: Emotional Responses and Punishment in Social Dilemma Games," Discussion Papers, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham 2008-02, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  5. Bolle, Friedel, 2000. "Is altruism evolutionarily stable? And envy and malevolence?: Remarks on Bester and Guth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 131-133, May.
  6. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus, 2006. "Pride and Prejudice: The Human Side of Incentive Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5768, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. B. Curtis Eaton & Mukesh Eswaran & Robert J. Oxoby, 2011. "Us and `Them': the origin of identity, and its economic implications," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(3), pages 719-748, August.
  8. Joerg Oechssler & Frank Riedel, 2000. "On the Dynamic Foundation of Evolutionary Stability in Continuous Models," Game Theory and Information, EconWPA 0004004, EconWPA.
  9. James M. Walker & Matthew A. Halloran, 2004. "Rewards and Sanctions and the Provision of Public Goods in One-Shot Settings," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 235-247, October.
  10. Donald Cox & Bruce E. Hansen & Emmanuel Jimenez, 1997. "How Responsive are Private Transfers to Income? Evidence from a Laissez-Faire Economy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics, Boston College Department of Economics 341., Boston College Department of Economics, revised 01 Dec 1999.
  11. Tabellini, Guido, 2007. "The Scope of Cooperation: Values and incentives," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6534, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Ingela Alger & Jörgen Weibull, 2009. "Kinship, Incentives and Evolution," Working Papers hal-00435431, HAL.
  13. Jung-Kyoo Choi, 2008. "Play locally, learn globally: group selection and structural basis of cooperation," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 239-257, December.
  14. repec:fth:iniesr:557 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Possajennikov, Alex, 2000. "On the evolutionary stability of altruistic and spiteful preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 125-129, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alger, Ingela & Cox, Donald, 2012. "The Evolution of Altruistic Preferences: Mothers versus Fathers," LERNA Working Papers, LERNA, University of Toulouse 12.30.387, LERNA, University of Toulouse, revised May 2013.
  2. repec:aia:ginidp:dp17 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Alger, Ingela & Weibull, Jörgen, 2012. "Homo Moralis-Preference evolution under incomplete information and assortative matching," LERNA Working Papers, LERNA, University of Toulouse 12.17.374, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
  4. Giacomo Corneo, 2011. "GINI DP 17: Income Inequality, Value Systems and Macroeconomic Performance," GINI Discussion Papers, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies 17, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  5. Alger, Ingela & Weibull, Jörgen, 2014. "Evolutionarily stable strategies, preferences and moral values, in n-player Interactions," TSE Working Papers, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) 14-504, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  6. Alger, Ingela & Weibull, Jörgen, 2014. "Evolutionarily stable strategies, preferences and moral values, in n-player Interactions," IAST Working Papers, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST) 14-10, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST).
  7. Ingela Alger & Jörgen W. Weibull, 2010. "Evolutionary Stability, Co-operation and Hamilton’s Rule," Carleton Economic Papers, Carleton University, Department of Economics 10-11, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 18 Jan 2011.

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