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Evolution of Indirect Reciprocity by Image Scoring/ The Dynamics of Indirect Reciprocity

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  • M.A. Nowak
  • K. Sigmund
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    Abstract

    The question of cooperation is crucial for understanding Darwinian evolution. Theories of cooperation have been based on kin selection, group selection, and reciprocal altruism. The idea of reciprocal altruism usually involves direct reciprocity: repeated encounters between the same individuals allow for the return of an altruistic act by the recipient. Here we present a new theoretical framework, which is based on indirect reciprocity and does not require the two individuals ever to meet again. Individual selection can nevertheless favor cooperative strategies directed towards recipients that have helped others in the past. Cooperation pays because it confers the image of a valuable community member. We present computer simulations and analytic models to specify the conditions for evolutionary stability of indirect reciprocity. In particular we show that the probability of knowing the image of the recipient must exceed the cost-to-benefit ratio of the altruistic act. We argue that the emergence of indirect reciprocity was a decisive step for the evolution of human societies.

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    File URL: http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Publications/Documents/IR-98-040.pdf
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    File URL: http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Publications/Documents/IR-98-040.ps
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in its series Working Papers with number ir98040.

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    Date of creation: May 1998
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    Handle: RePEc:wop:iasawp:ir98040

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    Cited by:
    1. Luca Stanca, 2011. "Social science and neuroscience: how can they inform each other?," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 58(3), pages 243-256, September.
    2. Angelo Antoci & Luca Zarri, 2011. "Punish and Perish?," Working Papers 2011.64, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Dirk Engelmann & Dorothea Kübler, 2008. "Do Legal Standards Affect Ethical Concerns of Consumers?," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2008-008, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    4. Jakson Alves de Aquino, 2011. "Cooperation among Virtual Anthropoids in a Complex Environment," Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems - scientific journal, Croatian Interdisciplinary Society Provider Homepage: http://indecs.eu, vol. 9(1), pages 56-80.
    5. Jonathan Schulz & Urs Fischbacher & Christian Th�ni & Verena Utikal, 2011. "Affect and Fairness," TWI Research Paper Series 68, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    6. Robert S. Gazzale & Tapan Khopkar, 2008. "Remain Silent and Ye Shall Suffer: Seller Exploitation of Reticent Buyers in an Experimental Reputation System," Department of Economics Working Papers 2008-22, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    7. Hisashi Ohtsuki, 2011. "Evolutionary Dynamics of the Nash Demand Game: A Diffusion Approach," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 449-461, September.
    8. Faqi Du & Feng Fu, 2011. "Partner Selection Shapes the Strategic and Topological Evolution of Cooperation," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 354-369, September.

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