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The build-up of cooperative behavior among non-cooperative selfish agents

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  • Benchekroun, Hassan
  • Long, Ngo Van

Abstract

We develop a theoretical model in which each individual is, in some ultimate sense, motivated by purely egoistic satisfaction derived from the goods accruing to him, but there is an implicit social contract such that each performs duties for the others in a way that enhances the satisfaction of all. We introduce a state variable that acts as a proxy for social capital of trustworthiness and that we call the stock of cooperation. We show that non-cooperative agents might condition their action on this state variable. Agents build-up the society's stock of cooperation and gradually overcome the free riding problem in a game of private contribution to a public good. We assume that there are neither penalties in the sense of trigger strategies, nor guilt and that each individual is rational.

Suggested Citation

  • Benchekroun, Hassan & Long, Ngo Van, 2008. "The build-up of cooperative behavior among non-cooperative selfish agents," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 239-252, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:67:y:2008:i:1:p:239-252
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    Cited by:

    1. Taiji Furusawa, 2009. "WTO as Moral Support," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(SI), pages 327-337, May.
    2. Stefano Castriota & Marco Delmastro, 2010. "Individual and Collective Reputation: Lessons from the Wine Market," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 149-172.
    3. Ngo Long, 2011. "Dynamic Games in the Economics of Natural Resources: A Survey," Dynamic Games and Applications, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 115-148, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General

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