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The co-evolution of cooperation and defection under local interaction and endogenous network formation

  • Bilancini, Ennio
  • Boncinelli, Leonardo

The Prisoner's Dilemma is a typical structure of interaction in human societies. In spite of a long tradition dealing with the matter from different perspectives, the emergence of cooperation or defection still remains a controversial issue from both an empirical and a theoretical point of view. In this paper we propose a local interaction model with endogenous network formation, in the attempt to provide a reasonable account of emerging behaviors. A population of boundedly rational agents repeatedly chooses to cooperate or defect. Each agent's action affects only her interacting mates, according to a network of relationships. Agents are randomly given the possibility to substitute undesired mates with unknown ones. Full cooperation, full defection and coexistence of both cooperation and defection in homogeneous clusters are possible outcomes of the model. Computer-based simulations are applied to investigate under what circumstances either case is most likely.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 70 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (May)
Pages: 186-195

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:70:y:2009:i:1-2:p:186-195
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  1. Tackseung Jun & Rajiv Sethi, 2008. "Neighborhood structure and the evolution of cooperation," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 103-103, February.
  2. Theodore C. Bergstrom & Oded Stark, 1994. "How Altruism Can Prevail in an Evolutionary Environment," Microeconomics 9401001, EconWPA.
  3. David Kreps & Paul Milgrom & John Roberts & Bob Wilson, 2010. "Rational Cooperation in the Finitely Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma," Levine's Working Paper Archive 239, David K. Levine.
  4. Gintis, Herbert, 2004. "Modeling cooperation among self-interested agents: a critique," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 695-714, December.
  5. Keser, Claudia & van Winden, Frans, 2000. " Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 23-39, March.
  6. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  7. Eshel, Ilan & Samuelson, Larry & Shaked, Avner, 1998. "Altruists, Egoists, and Hooligans in a Local Interaction Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 157-79, March.
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