Naïve imitation and partial cooperation in a local public goods model

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In a local interaction model agents situated on a circle play bilateral prisoners’ dilemmas with their immediate neighbors and have three possible strategies: cooperate in all interactions (altruistic), defect in all interactions (egoistic), or cooperate with one immediate neighbor with probability 1=2 (partial cooperation). After each period the agents adopt the strategy with the highest average payoff in their observed local neighborhood (naïve imitation). The absorbing states of the process are outlined and analysed. There does not exist an absorbing state in which the partially cooperative strategy coexists with any of the other strategies. The partially cooperative strategy limits the diffusion of altruistic behavior in the population. Even though clustering of altruists is generally beneficial for sustaining altruism, relatively big groups of altruists at the onset actually enable the spread of the partially cooperative strategy.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherMaastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics
Number of pages40
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2019

Publication series

SeriesGSBE Research Memoranda

JEL classifications

  • c63 - "Computational Techniques; Simulation Modeling"
  • c70 - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory: General
  • c72 - Noncooperative Games
  • c73 - "Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games; Repeated Games"


  • altruism
  • public goods
  • imitation
  • local interaction

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