Group size effects in social evolution

Nöldeke, Georg and Peña, Jorge (2018) Group size effects in social evolution. IAST working paper, n. 18-75, Toulouse

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Abstract

How the size of social groups affects the evolution of cooperative behaviors is a classic question in evolutionary biology. Here we investigate group size effects in evolutionary games in which individuals choose whether to cooperate or defect. We find that increasing the group size decreases the proportion of cooperators at both stable and unstable rest points of the replicator dynamics. This implies that larger group sizes can have negative effects (by reducing the amount of cooperation at stable polymorphisms) and positive effects (by enlarging the basin of attraction of more cooperative outcomes) on the evolution of cooperation. These two effects can be simultaneously present in games whose evolutionary dynamics features both stable and unstable rest points, such as public goods games with participation thresholds. Our theory recovers and generalizes previous results and is applicable to a broad variety of social interactions that have been studied in the literature.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Language: English
Date: May 2018
Place of Publication: Toulouse
Uncontrolled Keywords: evolution of cooperation, evolutionary game theory, replicator dynamics, public goods games
JEL codes: C73 - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games; Repeated Games
H41 - Public Goods
Subjects: B- ECONOMIE ET FINANCE
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Institution: Université Toulouse 1 Capitole
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 25 May 2018 08:21
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2019 14:07
OAI ID: oai:tse-fr.eu:32651
URI: http://publications.ut-capitole.fr/id/eprint/26012

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