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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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  2. 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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  10. Anders Poulsen & Gert Svendsen, 2005. "Social Capital and Endogenous Preferences," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 171-196, April.
  11. Cooper, Russell, et al, 1990. "Selection Criteria in Coordination Games: Some Experimental Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 218-33, March.
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  17. 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.
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