IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Robust Evolution Of Contingent Cooperation In Pure One-Shot Prisoners' Dilemmas. Part II: Evolutionary Dynamics & Testable Predictions

  • Heiner, Ronald Asher
Registered author(s):

    ROC curves from the signal detection literature are used in an evolutionary analysis of one-shot and repeated prisoners' dilemmas: showing if there is any discounting of future payoffs, or any cost of searching for an additional partner, then cooperative players who contingently participate - in terms of who to play with or when to exit - cannot survive when most other players unconditionally defect; even when contingent participators only interact with themselves by perfectly detecting their own type. However, quite different results hold for players who act contingently, not in terms of whether to play or exit, but rather in terms of how to act with any given partner. There is a form of contingent cooperation in one-shot prisoners' dilemmas (called CD behavior) that will robustly evolve through any payoff monotonic process, such as replicator dynamics. That is, whenever CD-players can detect their own type better than pure chance, they are guaranteed to evolve from any initial population - eventually to a unique evolutionarily stable population composed entirely of contingent cooperators - provided the fear payoff difference is less than the sum of greed and cooperation payoff differences. The adaptive capabilities just described hold for pure one-shot prisoners' dilemmas: meaning no repeated interactions or pairings in any generation are involved; no information or third party reports about past behavior are involved, all signal information arises only from symptoms detected after two strangers meet for the first time; and no subjective preferences for altruism, fairness, equity, reciprocity, or morality affect the raw evolutionary dynamics. Testable predictions are also derived that agree with a large body of experimental data built up since the prisoners dilemma was first introduced in 1950. They describe how the CD-players' equilibrium probability of cooperating changes: depending on the relative size of fear, greed, and cooperation payoff differences; and depending on the players' history of communication, especially when face-to-face discussion is involved.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Saarland University, CSLE - Center for the Study of Law and Economics in its series CSLE Discussion Paper Series with number 2002-10.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:zbw:csledp:200210
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Postfach 151150, 66041 Saarbrücken
    Phone: *49(0)681-302 2132
    Fax: *49(0)681-302 3591
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    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.:

    as in new window
    1. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:3:p:817-868 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Cooper, R. & DeJong, D.W. & Ross, T.W., 1992. "Cooperation without Reputation: Experimental Evidence from Prisoner's Dilemma Games," Papers 36, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
    3. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    4. Guth, W. & Kliemt, H., 1993. "Competition or Co-Operation," Papers 9339, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
    5. Roth, Alvin E, 1988. "Laboratory Experimentation in Economics: A Methodological Overview," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 974-1031, December.
    6. Palfrey, Thomas R & Prisbrey, Jeffrey E, 1997. "Anomalous Behavior in Public Goods Experiments: How Much and Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 829-46, December.
    7. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
    8. Ahn, T K, et al, 2001. " Cooperation in PD Games: Fear, Greed, and History of Play," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 106(1-2), pages 137-55, January.
    9. Werner Güth & Hartmut Kliemt, 1994. "Competition Or Co-Operation: On The Evolutionary Economics Of Trust, Exploitation And Moral Attitudes," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 155-187, 06.
    10. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
    11. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:csledp:200210. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.