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Cooperation as a transmitted cultural trait

Cooperation as a transmitted cultural trait
Cooperation as a transmitted cultural trait
In this paper, we study an endogenous cultural selection mechanism for cooperative behavior in a setting where agents are randomly matched in a one-shot interaction Prisoner’s Dilemma, and may or may not have complete information about their opponent’s preferences. We focus on an endogenous socialization mechanism in which parents spend costly effort to transmit directly their trait to their offspring, taking into account the impact of (oblique) societal pressures on cultural transmission. For various ranges of parameter values, this mechanism generates a polymorphic population with a long-run presence of cooperative agents, even where replicator and indirect evolutionary mechanisms would bring about a monomorphic population with non-cooperation. Further, under some circumstances, the long-run fraction of cooperative agents is shown to be larger under incomplete than complete information.
cooperation, cultural transmission, endogenous preferences, evolutionary selection
1043-4631
477-507
Bisin, Alberto
0c6bf792-b31f-4b6a-a048-04d97b05a6b6
Topa, Giorgio
92d59ee5-72d7-4164-a66a-9ac4bf6b035a
Verdier, Thierry
87c483ea-f473-408f-9776-d0381cab6454
Bisin, Alberto
0c6bf792-b31f-4b6a-a048-04d97b05a6b6
Topa, Giorgio
92d59ee5-72d7-4164-a66a-9ac4bf6b035a
Verdier, Thierry
87c483ea-f473-408f-9776-d0381cab6454

Bisin, Alberto, Topa, Giorgio and Verdier, Thierry (2004) Cooperation as a transmitted cultural trait. Rationality and Society, 16 (4), 477-507. (doi:10.1177/1043463104046695).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In this paper, we study an endogenous cultural selection mechanism for cooperative behavior in a setting where agents are randomly matched in a one-shot interaction Prisoner’s Dilemma, and may or may not have complete information about their opponent’s preferences. We focus on an endogenous socialization mechanism in which parents spend costly effort to transmit directly their trait to their offspring, taking into account the impact of (oblique) societal pressures on cultural transmission. For various ranges of parameter values, this mechanism generates a polymorphic population with a long-run presence of cooperative agents, even where replicator and indirect evolutionary mechanisms would bring about a monomorphic population with non-cooperation. Further, under some circumstances, the long-run fraction of cooperative agents is shown to be larger under incomplete than complete information.

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More information

Published date: 2004
Keywords: cooperation, cultural transmission, endogenous preferences, evolutionary selection

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 39680
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/39680
ISSN: 1043-4631
PURE UUID: 9c0f553b-51ae-4bfc-b0ba-bc3a0e2e58a8

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Date deposited: 29 Jun 2006
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 19:00

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Contributors

Author: Alberto Bisin
Author: Giorgio Topa
Author: Thierry Verdier

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