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Preferential Partner Selection in an Evolutionary Study of Prisoner's Dilemma

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Listed:
  • Ashlock, Dan
  • Smucker, Mark
  • Stanley, E. Ann
  • Tesfatsion, Leigh

Abstract

Partner selection is an important process in many social interactions, permitting individuals to decrease the risks associated with cooperation. In large populations, defectors may escape punishment by roving from partner to partner, but defectors in smaller populations risk social isolation. We investigate these possibilities for an evolutionary prisoner's dilemma in which agents use expected payoffs to choose and refuse partners. In comparison to random or round-robin partner matching, we find that the average payoffs attained with preferential partner selection tend to be more narrowly confined to a few isolated payoff regions. Most ecologies evolve to essentially full cooperative behavior, but when agents are intolerant of defections, or when the costs of refusal and social isolation are small, we also see the emergence of wallflower ecologies in which all agents are socially isolated. In between these two extremes, we see the emergence of ecologies whose agents tend to engage in a small number of defections followed by cooperation thereafter. The latter ecologies exhibit a plethora of interesting social interaction patterns.

Suggested Citation

  • Ashlock, Dan & Smucker, Mark & Stanley, E. Ann & Tesfatsion, Leigh, 1994. "Preferential Partner Selection in an Evolutionary Study of Prisoner's Dilemma," ISU General Staff Papers 199409010700001033, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genstf:199409010700001033
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    1. 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.
    2. Stanley, E. Ann & Ashlock, Dan & Tesfatsion, Leigh, 1993. "Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma with Choice and Refusal of Partners," ISU General Staff Papers 199302010800001028, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Gordon Tullock, 1985. "Adam Smith and the Prisoners' Dilemma," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(Supplemen), pages 1073-1081.
    4. Marimon, Ramon & McGrattan, Ellen & Sargent, Thomas J., 1990. "Money as a medium of exchange in an economy with artificially intelligent agents," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 329-373, May.
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    JEL classification:

    • C6 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling
    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory

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