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

Listed author(s):
  • 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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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6W5H-4XMKB85-1/2/098e9dd0bb0718cd58f2e6bdedb636d6
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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. 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.
  2. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
  3. Van Huyck, John B & Battalio, Raymond C & Beil, Richard O, 1990. "Tacit Coordination Games, Strategic Uncertainty, and Coordination Failure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 234-248, March.
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  7. 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 749-764, May.
  8. Sethi, Rajiv & Somanathan, E., 2003. "Understanding reciprocity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 1-27, January.
  9. Guttman, Joel M., 2000. "On the evolutionary stability of preferences for reciprocity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 31-50, March.
  10. Dirk Engelmann, 2001. "Asymmetric Type Recognition with Applications to Dilemma Games," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 357-375, November.
  11. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
  12. 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.
  13. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 1994. "A Course in Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650401, July.
  14. COOPER, R. & DEJONG, D.V. & FORSYTHE, R. & Tom Ross, 1989. "Communication In The Battle Of The Sexes Game," Carleton Industrial Organization Research Unit (CIORU) 89-03, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
  15. Anders Poulsen & Gert Svendsen, 2005. "Social Capital and Endogenous Preferences," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 171-196, April.
  16. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2002. "Why Social Preferences Matter -- The Impact of Non-Selfish Motives on Competition, Cooperation and Incentives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages 1-33, March.
  17. Herold, Florian & Kuzmics, Christoph, 2009. "Evolutionary stability of discrimination under observability," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 542-551, November.
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