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Beyond Carrots and Sticks: How Cooperation and Its Rewards Evolve Together

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  • Luigino Bruni
  • Fabrizio Panebianco
  • Alessandra Smerilli

Abstract

This paper is based on the intuition of Dragonetti, an old Neapolitan economist, which argues that a society experiences economic and civic development if agents promote values and virtues, more than solely rely on punishments stated by law. We thus study the evolution of cooperative behaviors using a mechanism of endogenous social rewards for cooperation (SRC). These additional (material) rewards depend on the recognition that the society-each agent in the society-gives to cooperative strategies. We formalize it with a cultural evolution model in which the payoff matrix and the population shares coevolve. We find that this endogenous mechanism can produce a large variety of long-run situations (victory of cooperators, of non-cooperators or, finally, their coexistence) depending on the social features. Moreover, we analyze the differences between SRC and exogenous punishment, changes in cooperation costs or changes in repetition of interactions and we disentangle their respective contributions.

Suggested Citation

  • Luigino Bruni & Fabrizio Panebianco & Alessandra Smerilli, 2014. "Beyond Carrots and Sticks: How Cooperation and Its Rewards Evolve Together," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 72(1), pages 55-82, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:72:y:2014:i:1:p:55-82
    DOI: 10.1080/00346764.2014.884388
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/00346764.2014.884388
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Susanne Neckermann & Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Awards as Incentives," IEW - Working Papers 334, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Carr & Aurelie Charles & Wilfred Dolfsma & Robert McMaster & Tonia Warnecke, 2015. "Effective Contributions to the Review of Social Economy and Social Economics—Editorial," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 73(2), pages 139-145, June.
    2. Fabrizio Panebianco, 2016. "The role of persuasion in cultural evolution dynamics," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 63(3), pages 233-258, September.

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