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Prisoner's Dilemma payoffs and the evolution of co-operative preferences

  • Poulsen, Anders
  • Poulsen, Odile

We analyse the evolutionary stability of a preference for reciprocity in the Prisoner's Dilemma. A distingushing and, as we argue, plausible, feature of the analysis is that reciprocal players are not assumed to be able to coordinate on mutual cooperation with probability one. We show how two payoff conditions, one well-known and another new, then become crucial for the evolutionary stability of co-operation. Somewhat paradoxically perhaps, an altruistic preference poses a greater threat to stable cooperation than a self-interested preference.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 39 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 158-162

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:39:y:2010:i:2:p:158-162
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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  1. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 1994. "A Course in Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650401, June.
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  7. Anders Poulsen & Odile Poulsen, 2006. "Endogenous Preferences and Social-Dilemma Institutions," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 162(4), pages 627-660, December.
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  9. Battalio, Raymond & Samuelson, Larry & Van Huyck, John, 2001. "Optimization Incentives and Coordination Failure in Laboratory Stag Hunt Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(3), pages 749-64, May.
  10. Herold, Florian & Kuzmics, Christoph, 2009. "Evolutionary stability of discrimination under observability," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 542-551, November.
  11. Anders Poulsen & Gert Svendsen, 2005. "Social Capital and Endogenous Preferences," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 171-196, April.
  12. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, June.
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  14. Straub, Paul G., 1995. "Risk dominance and coordination failures in static games," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 339-363.
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  17. Cooper, Russell, et al, 1992. "Communication in Coordination Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 739-71, May.
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