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The Volunteer's Dilemma in Finite Populations

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  • Kai A. Konrad
  • Florian Morath

Abstract

We study the long-run stochastic stability properties of volunteering strategies in finite populations. We allow for mixed strategies, characterized by the probability that a player may not volunteer. A pairwise comparison of evolutionary strategies shows that the strategy with a lower probability of volunteering is advantaged. However, in the long run there are also groups of volunteering types. Homomorphisms with the more volunteering types are more frequent if the groups have fewer members, and if the benefits from volunteering are larger. Such homomorphisms with volunteering cease to exist if the group becomes infinitely large. In contrast, the disadvantage of volunteering disappears if the ratio of individual benefits and costs of volunteering becomes infinitely large.

Suggested Citation

  • Kai A. Konrad & Florian Morath, 2020. "The Volunteer's Dilemma in Finite Populations," Working Papers 2020-34, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  • Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2020-34
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Volunteering; stochastic stability; finite populations; mixed strategies; collective action;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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