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Stochastic Evolutionary Dynamics in the Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma


  • Linster, Bruce G


This paper explores boundedly rational behavior in the infinitely repeated prisoners' dilemma. Strategy choices are modeled as finite automata and the evolution of populations through asexual reproduction with mutation is explored. Evolutionary success is based on how well the strategy does in an infinite game against randomly matched opponents and mutation schemes based on a stylized model of these strategies are employed. The results demonstrate when either defecting or cooperating strategies tend to evolve, depending on how important the future is. Interestingly, when the strategies are allowed to become tolerant of defections, the population cycles between defecting and cooperating strategies. Copyright 1994 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Linster, Bruce G, 1994. "Stochastic Evolutionary Dynamics in the Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(2), pages 342-357, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:32:y:1994:i:2:p:342-57

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eckbo, B. Espen, 1983. "Horizontal mergers, collusion, and stockholder wealth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 241-273, April.
    2. Ordover, Janusz A & Saloner, Garth & Salop, Steven C, 1990. "Equilibrium Vertical Foreclosure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 127-142, March.
    3. Michael A. Salinger, 1988. "Vertical Mergers and Market Foreclosure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(2), pages 345-356.
    4. Jensen, Michael C. & Ruback, Richard S., 1983. "The market for corporate control : The scientific evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-4), pages 5-50, April.
    5. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
    6. Allen, Bruce T, 1971. "Vertical Integration and Market Foreclosure: The Case of Cement and Concrete," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 251-274, April.
    7. Dodd, Peter, 1980. "Merger proposals, management discretion and stockholder wealth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 105-137, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Samuelson, Larry, 1996. "Bounded rationality and game theory," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(Supplemen), pages 17-35.
    2. Matthijs van Veelen & Julian Garcia, 2012. "In and out of Equilibrium II: Evolution in Repeated Games with Discounting and Complexity Costs," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-089/I, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. García, Julián & van Veelen, Matthijs, 2016. "In and out of equilibrium I: Evolution of strategies in repeated games with discounting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 161-189.

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