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Conformism and cooperation in a local interaction model

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  • Friederike Mengel

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Abstract

We present and analyze a local interaction model where agents play a bilateral prisoner's dilemma game with their neighbors. Agents learn about behavior through payoff-biased imitation of their interaction neighbors (and possibly some agents beyond this set). We find that the [Eshel, I., L. Samuelson and A. Shaked, 1998, Altruists, Egoists and Hooligans in a Local Interaction Model, Am. Econ. Rev 88] result that polymorphic states are stochastically stable in such a setting is not robust. In particular whenever agents use information also of some agents beyond their interaction neighbors the unique stable outcome is one where everyone chooses defection. Introducing a sufficiently strong conformist bias into the imitation process we find that full cooperation always emerges. Conformism is thus identified as a new mechanism that can stabilize cooperation.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Evolutionary Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 397-415

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:19:y:2009:i:3:p:397-415

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Related research

Keywords: Cooperation; Imitation; Local interaction; Conformism; C72; C73; D85;

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  11. Schlag, Karl H., 1994. "Why Imitate, and if so, How? Exploring a Model of Social Evolution," Discussion Paper Serie B 296, University of Bonn, Germany.
  12. Fosco, Constanza & Mengel, Friederike, 2011. "Cooperation through imitation and exclusion in networks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 641-658, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mengel, Friederike & Fosco, Constanza, 2007. "Cooperation through Imitation and Exclusion in Networks," MPRA Paper 5258, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Boyer, Tristan & Jonard, Nicolas, 2014. "Imitation and efficient contagion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 20-32.
  3. Stark, Oded & Behrens, Doris A., 2010. "In search of an evolutionary edge: trading with a few, more, or many," Discussion Papers 94280, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  4. Waltman, L. & van Eck, N.J.P. & Dekker, R. & Kaymak, U., 2011. "An evolutionary model of price competition among spatially distributed firms," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2011-09, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  5. Grajzl, Peter & Baniak, Andrzej, 2012. "Mandating behavioral conformity in social groups with conformist members," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 479-493.
  6. Amparo Urbano, 2011. "SEA Presidential address: Group connectivity and cooperation," SERIEs, Spanish Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 139-158, June.
  7. Elsner, Wolfram & Schwardt, Henning, 2012. "Trust and Arena Size. Expectations, Trust, and Institutions Co-Evolving, and Their Critical Population and Group Sizes," MPRA Paper 40393, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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