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The Build-up of Cooperative Behavior among Non-cooperative Agents

  • Hassan Benchekroun
  • Ngo Van Long

We develop a theoretical model in which each individual is, in some ultimate sense, motivated by purely egoistic satisfaction derived from the goods accruing to him, but there is an implicit social contract such that each performs duties for the others in a way that enhances the satisfaction of all. We introduce a state variable that acts as a proxy for social capital of trustworthiness and that we call the stock of cooperation. We show that noncooperative agents might condition their action on this state variable. Agents build-up the society's stock of cooperation and gradually overcome the free riding problem in a game of private contribution to a public good. We assume that there are neither penalties in the sense of trigger strategies, nor guilt and that each individual is rational. Nous développons un modèle théorique dans lequel les individus sont motivés par la satisfaction égoïste que leur procure l'accumulation de biens, mais où le contrat social incite chaque individu à travailler pour les autres afin d'accroître le bien-être collectif. Nous introduisons une variable d'état représentant le stock de capital social, ou « stock de coopération ». Nous démontrons que cette variable peut influencer les actions des agents non-coopératifs. Les agents accumulent le stock de coopération de la société et réussisent à règler de manière progressive le problème du passager clandestin pour un jeu de contributions privées dans un bien public. Nous supposons qu'il n'existe pas de stratégies de pénalité, de sentiment de culpabilité chez les individus et que chaque agent est rationnel.

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File URL: http://www.cirano.qc.ca/files/publications/2006s-17.pdf
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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2006s-17.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2006s-17
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  1. Jeffrey Carpenter & Peter Matthews, 2002. "No Switchbacks: Rethinking Aspiration-Based Dynamics in the Ultimatum Game," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0218, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  2. Tsutsui, Shunichi & Mino, Kazuo, 1990. "Nonlinear strategies in dynamic duopolistic competition with sticky prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 136-161, October.
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  8. Wirl, Franz, 1996. "Dynamic voluntary provision of public goods: Extension to nonlinear strategies," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 555-560, November.
  9. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 1999. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 183, CESifo Group Munich.
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  12. Friedman, Daniel, 1996. "Equilibrium in Evolutionary Games: Some Experimental Results," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(434), pages 1-25, January.
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  14. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
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  22. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  23. Dockner Engelbert J. & Van Long Ngo, 1993. "International Pollution Control: Cooperative versus Noncooperative Strategies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 13-29, July.
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