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Conformism and Cooperation in a Local Interaction Model

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  • Mengel, Friederike

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.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 4051.

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Date of creation: Apr 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:4051

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Keywords: Cooperation; Imitation; Local Interaction; Conformism;

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Cited by:
  1. Amparo Urbano, 2011. "SEA Presidential address: Group connectivity and cooperation," SERIEs, Spanish Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 139-158, June.
  2. Oded Stark & Doris Behrens, 2011. "In search of an evolutionary edge: trading with a few, more, or many," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 21(5), pages 721-736, December.
  3. Ludo Waltman & Nees Eck & Rommert Dekker & Uzay Kaymak, 2013. "An Evolutionary Model of Price Competition Among Spatially Distributed Firms," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 42(4), pages 373-391, December.
  4. Constanza Fosco & Friederike Mengel, 2009. "Cooperation through Imitation and Exclusion in Networks," Working Papers, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 2009.37, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. Boyer, Tristan & Jonard, Nicolas, 2010. "Imitation and Efficient Contagion," MPRA Paper 23430, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. 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.
  7. Grajzl, Peter & Baniak, Andrzej, 2012. "Mandating behavioral conformity in social groups with conformist members," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 479-493.

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