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Conformism and cooperation in a local interaction model

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  • Friederike Mengel

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Abstract

We present and analyze a local interaction model where agents play a bilateral prisoner's dilemma game with their neighbors. Agents learn about behavior through payoff-biased imitation of their interaction neighbors (and possibly some agents beyond this set). We find that the [Eshel, I., L. Samuelson and A. Shaked, 1998, Altruists, Egoists and Hooligans in a Local Interaction Model, Am. Econ. Rev 88] result that polymorphic states are stochastically stable in such a setting is not robust. In particular whenever agents use information also of some agents beyond their interaction neighbors the unique stable outcome is one where everyone chooses defection. Introducing a sufficiently strong conformist bias into the imitation process we find that full cooperation always emerges. Conformism is thus identified as a new mechanism that can stabilize cooperation.
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Suggested Citation

  • Friederike Mengel, 2009. "Conformism and cooperation in a local interaction model," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 397-415, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:19:y:2009:i:3:p:397-415
    DOI: 10.1007/s00191-008-0131-7
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    Cited by:

    1. Ge Jiang & Simon Weidenholzer, 2017. "Local interactions under switching costs," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 64(3), pages 571-588, October.
    2. Elsner, Wolfram & Schwardt, Henning, 2012. "Trust and Arena Size. Expectations, Trust, and Institutions Co-Evolving, and Their Critical Population and Group Sizes," MPRA Paper 40393, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Fosco, Constanza & Mengel, Friederike, 2011. "Cooperation through imitation and exclusion in networks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 641-658, May.
    4. Boyer, Tristan & Jonard, Nicolas, 2014. "Imitation and efficient contagion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 20-32.
    5. Abhimanyu Khan, 2014. "Coordination under global random interaction and local imitation," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 43(4), pages 721-745, November.
    6. Grajzl, Peter & Baniak, Andrzej, 2012. "Mandating behavioral conformity in social groups with conformist members," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 479-493.
    7. Ludo Waltman & Nees Eck & Rommert Dekker & Uzay Kaymak, 2013. "An Evolutionary Model of Price Competition Among Spatially Distributed Firms," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 42(4), pages 373-391, December.
    8. Hedlund Jonas, 2012. "Altruism and Local Interaction," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-27, June.
    9. Alós-Ferrer, Carlos & Weidenholzer, Simon, 2014. "Imitation and the role of information in overcoming coordination failures," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 397-411.
    10. V. Masson, 2015. "Information, interaction and memory," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 44(4), pages 1015-1032, November.
    11. Oded Stark & Doris Behrens, 2011. "In search of an evolutionary edge: trading with a few, more, or many," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 21(5), pages 721-736, December.
    12. Ozgur Aydogmus & Hasan Cagatay & Erkan Gürpinar, 2020. "Does social learning promote cooperation in social dilemmas?," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 15(3), pages 633-648, July.
    13. Edward J. Cartwright, 2014. "Imitation And Coordination In Small‐World Networks," Intelligent Systems in Accounting, Finance and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 71-90, April.
    14. repec:ipg:wpaper:2014-052 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Tristan Boyer & Nicolas Jonard, 2014. "Imitation and Efficient Contagion," Working Papers 2014-52, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
    16. Amparo Urbano, 2011. "SEA Presidential address: Group connectivity and cooperation," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 139-158, June.
    17. Herings, P. Jean-Jacques & Peeters, Ronald & Tenev, Anastas & Thuijsman, Frank, 2019. "Naïve imitation and partial cooperation in a local public goods model," Research Memorandum 013, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    18. Jonas Hedlund, 2015. "Imitation in Cournot oligopolies with multiple markets," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 60(3), pages 567-587, November.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cooperation; Imitation; Local interaction; Conformism; C72; C73; D85;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games

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