Probabilistic sharing solves the problem of costly punishment

Chen X, Szolnoki A, & Perc M (2014). Probabilistic sharing solves the problem of costly punishment. New Journal of Physics 16: 083016. DOI:10.1088/1367-2630/16/8/083016.

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Abstract

Cooperators that refuse to participate in sanctioning defectors create the second-order free-rider problem. Such cooperators will not be punished because they contribute to the public good, but they also eschew the costs associated with punishing defectors. Altruistic punishers - those that cooperate and punish - are at a disadvantage, and it is puzzling how such behaviour has evolved. We show that sharing the responsibility to sanction defectors rather than relying on certain individuals to do so permanently can solve the problem of costly punishment. Inspired by the fact that humans have strong but also emotional tendencies for fair play, we consider probabilistic sanctioning as the simplest way of distributing the duty. In well-mixed populations the public goods game is transformed into a coordination game with full cooperation and defection as the two stable equilibria, while in structured populations pattern formation supports additional counterintuitive solutions that are reminiscent of Parrondo's paradox.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social dynamics; Networks; Punishment; Public goods; Econophysics
Research Programs: Evolution and Ecology (EEP)
Bibliographic Reference: New Journal of Physics; 16:083016 (7 August 2014)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:50
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2016 12:47
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/10837

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