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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
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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  8. Rajiv Sethi & E.Somanathan, 2002. "Understanding reciprocity," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 02-05, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  9. COOPER, R. & DEJONG, D.V. & FORSYTHE, R. & Tom Ross, 1989. "Communication In Coordination Games," Carleton Industrial Organization Research Unit (CIORU) 89-07, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
  10. 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, December.
  11. 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 234-48, March.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Dirk Engelmann, 2001. "Asymmetric Type Recognition with Applications to Dilemma Games," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 357-375, November.
  16. 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.
  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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