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Prisoner’s Dilemma payoffs and the evolution of co-operative preferences

Authors
Publisher
Elsevier Inc.
Publication Date
Volume
39
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2009.10.002
Keywords
  • Prisoner’S Dilemma
  • Co-Operation
  • Indirect Evolutionary Approach
  • Preference Evolution
  • Evolutionary Stability
  • Replicator Dynamic

Abstract

Abstract We analyse the evolutionary stability of a preference for reciprocity in the Prisoner’s Dilemma. A distingushing and, as we argue, plausible, feature of the analysis is that reciprocal players are not assumed to be able to coordinate on mutual cooperation with probability one. We show how two payoff conditions, one well-known and another new, then become crucial for the evolutionary stability of co-operation. Somewhat paradoxically perhaps, an altruistic preference poses a greater threat to stable cooperation than a self-interested preference.

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