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Ricardo Guzmán (), Robert Rowthorn () and Carlos Rodriguez-Sickert ()
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Robert Rowthorn: Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge and King’s College, Cambridge, UK

Abante, 2008, vol. 11, issue 1, 3-18

Abstract: In this paper we survey the theories of gratuitous cooperation, i.e., in favour of non-relatives and without repeated interaction. We also describe our work on the area, whose objective is to integrate the various theories of gratuitous cooperation into a self-contained framework. Our conclusions are as follows. First: altruistic punishment, conformism, and gratuitous cooperation coevolve, and group selection is a necessary for the coevolution to take place. Second: people do not cooperate by mistake, as most theories imply. On the contrary, people knowingly sacrifice themselves for others. Third: in cooperative dilemmas conformism is an expression of preference, not a learning rule. Fourth: group mutations are necessary to sustain cooperation in the long-run.

Keywords: Gratuitous cooperation; cooperative dilemma; altruistic punishment; conformism; group selection; group mutations. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H41 D64 D83 D03 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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