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Evolutionary Stability of Indirect Reciprocity by Image Scoring

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  • Berger Ulrich

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)

  • Ansgar Grüne

Abstract

Indirect reciprocity describes a class of reputation-based mechanisms which may explain the prevalence of cooperation in groups where partners meet only once. The first model for which this has analytically been shown was the binary image scoring mechanism, where one's reputation is only based on one's last action. But this mechanism is known to fail if errors in implementation occur. It has thus been claimed that for indirect reciprocity to stabilize cooperation, reputation assessments must be of higher order, i.e. contingent not only on past actions, but also on the reputations of the targets of these actions. We show here that this need not be the case. A simple image scoring mechanism where more than just one past action is observed provides ample possibilities for stable cooperation to emerge even under substantial rates of implementation errors.

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Paper provided by Vienna University of Economics, Department of Economics in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number wuwp168.

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Date of creation: Feb 2014
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwwuw:wuwp168

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Related research

Keywords: cooperation; prisoner's dilemma; donation game; indirect reciprocity; image scoring; first-order assessment; evolutionary stability; altruism;

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  1. Dirk Engelmann & Urs Fischbacher, 2003. "Indirect Reciprocity and Strategic Reputation Building in an Experimental Helping Game," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp215, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  2. M.A. Nowak & K. Sigmund, 1998. "Evolution of Indirect Reciprocity by Image Scoring/ The Dynamics of Indirect Reciprocity," Working Papers ir98040, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
  3. Kandori, Michihiro, 1992. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 63-80, January.
  4. Berger, Ulrich, 2011. "Learning to cooperate via indirect reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 30-37, May.
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