In search of an evolutionary edge: trading with a few, more, or many
AbstractConsider a population of farmers who live around a lake. Each farmer engages in trade with his m adjacent neighbors, where m is termed the "span of interaction." Trade is governed by a prisoner’s dilemma "rule of engagement." A farmer’s payoff is the sum of the payoffs from the m prisoner’s dilemma games played with his m/2 neighbors to the left, and with his m/2 neighbors to the right. When a farmer dies, his son takes over. The son who adheres to his father’s span of interaction decides whether to cooperate or defect by considering the actions taken and the payoffs received by the most prosperous member of the group comprising his father and his father’s m trading partners. Under a conventional structure of payoffs, it is shown that a large span of interaction is detrimental to the long-run coexistence of cooperation and defection, and conditions are provided under which the social outcome associated with the expansion of trade when individuals trade with a few is better than that when they trade with many. Under the stipulated conditions it is shown, by means of a static comparative analysis of the steady state configurations of the farmer population, that an expansion of the market can be beneficial in one context, detrimental in another.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF) in its series Discussion Papers with number 94280.
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Local interaction; Span of interaction; Imitation; Cooperation; Social welfare; Farm Management; D83; R12; O4;
Other versions of this item:
- Oded Stark & Doris Behrens, 2011. "In search of an evolutionary edge: trading with a few, more, or many," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 21(5), pages 721-736, December.
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
- O4 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
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