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Evolution of cooperation in asymmetric commons dilemmas

  • Janssen, Marco A.
  • Rollins, Nathan D.
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    Field experiments with asymmetric commons dilemmas have shown that groups who are able to derive high social efficiency also had higher equity compared to groups who were not able to derive significant levels of social efficiency. These findings resemble the high productivity in long-lasting irrigation systems based on self-governance. We present an agent-based model based on cultural group selection that shows that the patterns observed in the field experiments can be evolved in cases where agents participate regularly in less challenging symmetric public good dilemmas. These results indicate that cooperation in asymmetric dilemmas can evolve and persist when the agents contend with other social dilemmas than the asymmetric dilemmas.

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

    Volume (Year): 81 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 220-229

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:81:y:2012:i:1:p:220-229
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    1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    2. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4qz9k8vg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    3. Fangfang Tan, 2008. "Punishment in a Linear Public Good Game with Productivity Heterogeneity," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(3), pages 269-293, September.
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    5. repec:oup:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:3:p:817-869 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. T.K. Ahn & Myungsuk Lee & Lore Ruttan & James M. Walker, 2005. "Asymmetric Payoffs in Simultaneous and Sequential Prisoner's Dilemma Games," Caepr Working Papers 2006-003, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington, revised Aug 2006.
    7. Elinor Ostrom & Roy Gardner, 1993. "Coping with Asymmetries in the Commons: Self-Governing Irrigation Systems Can Work," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 93-112, Fall.
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