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Review: Game theory of public goods in one-shot social dilemmas without assortment

Archetti, Marco and Scheuring, István. (2012) Review: Game theory of public goods in one-shot social dilemmas without assortment. Journal of theoretical biology, Vol. 299. pp. 9-20.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6083248

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Abstract

We review the theory of public goods in biology. In the N-person prisoner's dilemma, where the public good is a linear function of the individual contributions, cooperation requires some form of assortment, for example due to kin discrimination, population viscosity or repeated interactions. In most social species ranging from bacteria to humans, however, public goods are usually a non-linear function of the contributions, which makes cooperation possible without assortment. More specifically, a polymorphic state can be stable in which cooperators and non-cooperators coexist. The existence of mixed equilibria in public goods games is a fundamental result in the study of cooperation that has been overlooked so far, because of the disproportionate attention given to the two- and N-person prisoner's dilemma. Methods and results from games with pairwise interactions or linear benefits cannot, in general, be extended to the analysis of public goods. Game theory helps explain the production of public goods in one-shot, N-person interactions without assortment, it leads to predictions that can be easily tested and allows a prescriptive approach to cooperation.
Faculties and Departments:06 Faculty of Business and Economics > Departement Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Professuren Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Mikroökonomische Theorie (Nöldeke)
UniBasel Contributors:Archetti, Marco
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1095-8541
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:24 May 2013 09:17
Deposited On:26 Apr 2013 06:53

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