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Altruists Egoists and Hooligans in a Local Interaction Model

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  • Ilan Eshel
  • Larry Samuelson
  • Avner Shaked
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    Abstract

    This paper studies a population of agents, each of whom can be either an Altruist or an Egoist. Altruists confer benefits on others at a cost to themselves. Altruism is thus a strictly dominated strategy and cannot survive if agents are rational best-responders. We assume that agents choose their actions by imitating others who earn high payoffs. We also assume that interactions between agents are local, so that each agent a ects (and is affected by) only his neighbors. Altruists can survive in such a world if they are grouped together, so that the benefits of Altruism are enjoyed primarily by other Altruists, who then earn relatively high payo s and are imitated. The addition of mutations to the model threatens this survival by allowing such groups to be invaded by mutant Egoists. However, mutations can also be inimical to Egoists, by removing the Altruists which Egoists exploit,and the net effect of mutations is to ensure that Altruists survive.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and Social Evolution in its series ELSE working papers with number 005.

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    Handle: RePEc:els:esrcls:005

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    Related research

    Keywords: Altruism; Cooperation; LocalInteraction;

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    References

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    1. L. Blume, 2010. "The Statistical Mechanics of Strategic Interaction," Levine's Working Paper Archive 488, David K. Levine.
    2. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1996. "Case-Based Optimization," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-26, July.
    3. Okuno-Fujiwara Masahiro & Postlewaite Andrew, 1995. "Social Norms and Random Matching Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 79-109, April.
    4. Glen Ellison, 2010. "Learning, Local Interaction, and Coordination," Levine's Working Paper Archive 391, David K. Levine.
    5. Itzhak Gilboa & David Schmeidler, 1992. "Case-Based Decision Theory," Discussion Papers 994, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    6. Kandori, Michihiro, 1992. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 63-80, January.
    7. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
    8. Samuelson Larry, 1994. "Stochastic Stability in Games with Alternative Best Replies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 35-65, October.
    9. Fudenberg, Drew & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Folk Theorem in Repeated Games with Discounting or with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 533-54, May.
    10. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
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