Negative Reciprocity: The Coevolution of Memes and Genes
A preference for negative reciprocity is an important part of the human emotional repertoire. We model its role in sustaining cooperative behavior but highlight an intrinsic free-rider problem: the fitness benefits of negative reciprocity are dispersed throughout the entire group, but the fitness costs are borne personally. Evolutionary forces tend to unravel people’s willingness to bear the personal cost of punishing culprits. In our model, the countervailing force that sustains negative reciprocity is a meme consisting of a group norm together with low-powered (and low-cost) group enforcement of the norm. The main result is that such memes coevolve with personal tastes and capacities so as to produce the optimal level of negative reciprocity.
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.:
- Jorgen W. Weibull, 1997. "Evolutionary Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262731215, September.
- Friedman, Daniel & Singh, Nirvikar, 2007.
4321, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Robert W. Rosenthal, 2001. "Trust and social efficiencies," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 6(3), pages 413-428.
- Frank, Robert H, 1987. "If Homo Economicus Could Choose His Own Utility Function, Would He Want One with a Conscience?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 593-604, September.
- Harrington, Joseph E, Jr, 1989. "If Homo Economicus Could Choose His Own Utility Function, Would He Want One with a Conscience?: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 588-593, June.
- Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, September.
- Joel M. Guttman, 2003. "Repeated interaction and the evolution of preferences for reciprocity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 631-656, 07.
- David K. Levine, 1998.
"Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiment,"
Review of Economic Dynamics,
Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 593-622, July.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2000.
"Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
336, CESifo Group Munich.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, "undated". "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocitys," IEW - Working Papers 040, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2000.
"The Evolution of Strong Reciprocity,"
UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers
2000-05, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
- Sethi, Rajiv & Somanathan, E., 2003.
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 1-27, January.
- Rajiv Sethi & E.Somanathan, 2002. "Understanding reciprocity," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 02-05, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
- George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
- Friedman, Daniel, 1991. "Evolutionary Games in Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 637-666, May.
- Herbert Gintis, 2000. "Strong Reciprocity and Human Sociality," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2000-02, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0412003. 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: (EconWPA)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.