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A Model-to-Model Analysis of The Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma: Genetic Algorithms vs. Evolutionary Dynamics

We study the properties of the well known Replicator Dynamics when applied to a finitely repeated version of the Prisoners' Dilemma game. We characterize the behavior of such dynamics under strongly simplifying assumptions (i.e. only 3 strategies are available) and show that the basin of attraction of defection shrinks as the number of repetitions increases. After discussing the difficulties involved in trying to relax the 'strongly simplifying assumptions' above, we approach the same model by means of simulations based on genetic algorithms. The resulting simulations describe a behavior of the system very close to the one predicted by the replicator dynamics without imposing any of the assumptions of the analytical model. Our main conclusion is that analytical and computational models are good complements for research in social sciences. Indeed, while on the one hand computational models are extremely useful to extend the scope of the analysis to complex scenar

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Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 747.08.

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Length: 9
Date of creation: 11 Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:747.08
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  1. Binmore, Kenneth G. & Samuelson, Larry, 1992. "Evolutionary stability in repeated games played by finite automata," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 278-305, August.
  2. Miller, John H., 1996. "The coevolution of automata in the repeated Prisoner's Dilemma," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 87-112, January.
  3. Nowak, Martin & Sasaki, Akira & Fudenberg, Drew & Taylor, Christine, 2004. "Emergence of Cooperation and Evolutionary Stability in Finite Populations," Scholarly Articles 3196331, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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