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Altruists Egoists and Hooligans in a Local Interaction Model

Author

Listed:
  • Ilan Eshel
  • Larry Samuelson
  • Avner Shaked

Abstract

This paper studies a population of agents, each of whom can be either an Altruist or an Egoist. Altruists confer benefits on others at a cost to themselves. Altruism is thus a strictly dominated strategy and cannot survive if agents are rational best-responders. We assume that agents choose their actions by imitating others who earn high payoffs. We also assume that interactions between agents are local, so that each agent a ects (and is affected by) only his neighbors. Altruists can survive in such a world if they are grouped together, so that the benefits of Altruism are enjoyed primarily by other Altruists, who then earn relatively high payo s and are imitated. The addition of mutations to the model threatens this survival by allowing such groups to be invaded by mutant Egoists. However, mutations can also be inimical to Egoists, by removing the Altruists which Egoists exploit,and the net effect of mutations is to ensure that Altruists survive.

Suggested Citation

  • Ilan Eshel & Larry Samuelson & Avner Shaked, "undated". "Altruists Egoists and Hooligans in a Local Interaction Model," ELSE working papers 005, ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and Social Evolution.
  • Handle: RePEc:els:esrcls:005
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Altruism; Cooperation; LocalInteraction;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory

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