Freedom, enforcement, and the social dilemma of strong altruism

De Silva, H., Hauert, C., Traulsen, A., & Sigmund, K. (2010). Freedom, enforcement, and the social dilemma of strong altruism. Journal of Evolutionary Economics 20 (2) 203-217. 10.1007/s00191-009-0162-8.

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Cooperation in joint enterprises poses a social dilemma. How can altruistic behavior be sustained if selfish alternatives provide a higher payoff? This social dilemma can be overcome by the threat of sanctions. But a sanctioning system is itself a public good and poses a second-order social dilemma. In this paper, we show by means of deterministic and stochastic evolutionary game theory that imitation-driven evolution can lead to the emergence of cooperation based on punishment, provided the participation in the joint enterprise is not compulsory. This surprising result -- cooperation can be enforced if participation is voluntary -- holds even in the case of 'strong altruism', when the benefits of a player's contribution are reaped by the other participants only.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Evolutionary game theory; Public goods games; Cooperation; Costly punishment; Social dilemma; Strong altruism; Voluntary interactions
Research Programs: Evolution and Ecology (EEP)
Bibliographic Reference: Journal of Evolutionary Economics; 20(2):203-217 (April 2010) (Published online 05 August 2009)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:44
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:21

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