Selfish Altruism, Fierce Cooperation and the Emergence of Cooperative Equilibria from Passing and Shooting
AbstractThere is continuing debate about what explains cooperation and self-sacrifice in nature and in particular in humans. This paper suggests a new way to think about this famous problem. I argue that, for an evolutionary biologist as well as a quantitative social scientist, the triangle of two players in the presence of a predator (passing and shooting in 2-on-1 situations) is a fundamental conceptual building-block for understanding these phenomena. I show how, in the presence of a predator, cooperative equilibria rationally emerge among entirely selfish agents. If we examine the dynamics of such a model, and bias the lead player (ball possessor with pass/shoot i.e. cooperate/defect dilemma) in the selfish direction by only an infinitesimal amount, then, remarkably, the trajectories of the new system move towards a cooperative equilibrium. I argue that "predators" are common in the biological jungle but also in everyday human settings. Intuitively, this paper builds on the simple idea – a familiar one to a biologist observing the natural world but perhaps less so to social scientists – that everybody has enemies. As a technical contribution, I solve these models analytically in the unbiased case and numerically by an O(h5) approximation with the Runge-Kutta method.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7896.
Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
- C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
- C57 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Econometrics of Games
- D87 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Neuroeconomics
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2014-02-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-EVO-2014-02-02 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2014-02-02 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2014-02-02 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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- Zizzo, D.J. & Oswald, A., 2000. "Are People Willing to Pay to Reduce Others' Incomes?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 568, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
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