Altruism, Partner Choice, and Fixed-Cost Signalling
We consider a multitype population model with unobservable types, in which players are engaged in the `mutual help' game: each player can increase her partner's fitness at a cost to oneself. All individuals prefer free riding to cooperation, but some of them, helpers, can establish reciprocal cooperation in a long-term relationship. Such heterogeneity can drive cooperation through a partner selection mechanism under which helpers choose to interact with one another and shun non-helpers. However, in contrast to the existing literature, we assume that each individual is matched with an anonymous partner, and therefore, stable cooperation cannot be achieved by partner selection per se. We suggest that helpers can signal their type to one another in order to establish long-term relationships, and we show that a reliable signal always exists. Moreover, due to the difference in future benefits of a long-term relationship for helpers and non-helpers, the signal need not be a handicap, in the sense that the cost of the signal need not be correlated with type.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Austen-Smith, David & Banks, Jeffrey S., 2000.
"Cheap Talk and Burned Money,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 1-16, March.
- Fudenberg, Drew & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Folk Theorem in Repeated Games with Discounting or with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 533-54, May.
- Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1984.
"Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
709, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Rubinstein, Ariel, 1979. "Equilibrium in supergames with the overtaking criterion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-9, August.
- Robert J. Aumann & Lloyd S. Shapley, 1992.
"Long Term Competition-A Game Theoretic Analysis,"
UCLA Economics Working Papers
676, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Robert J. Aumann & Lloyd S. Shapley, 2013. "Long Term Competition -- A Game-Theoretic Analysis," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(2), pages 627-640, November.
- Hirshlifer, David & Rassmusen, Eric, 1989. "Cooperation in a repeated prisoners' dilemma with ostracism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 87-106, August.
- James W. Friedman, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(1), pages 1-12.
- Eric Alden Smith & Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2000. "Costly Signaling and Cooperation," Working Papers 00-12-071, Santa Fe Institute.
- Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-29, March-Apr.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:122247000000002199. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David K. Levine)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.