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Conformism and cooperation in a local interaction model

Mengel, F (2009) 'Conformism and cooperation in a local interaction model.' Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 19 (3). 397 - 415. ISSN 0936-9937

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Abstract

We analyze a local interaction model where agents play a bilateral prisoner's dilemma game with their neighbors. Agents learn about behavior through payoff-biased imitation of their interaction neighbors (and possibly some agents beyond this set). We find that the Eshel et al. (Am Econ Rev 88:157-179, 1998) result that polymorphic states are stochastically stable in such a setting is not robust. In particular, whenever agents use information also of some agents beyond their interaction neighbors, the unique stable outcome is one where everyone chooses defection. Introducing a sufficiently strong conformist bias into the imitation process, we find that full cooperation always emerges. Conformism is thus identified as a new mechanism that can stabilize cooperation.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 12 May 2013 16:18
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2017 18:01
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/5813

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