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Punishment Mechanisms and Their Effect on Cooperation: A Simulation Study
Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0882-4851
University of Trento, Italy.
Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands.
Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Netherlands.
2015 (English)In: JASSS: Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, ISSN 1460-7425, E-ISSN 1460-7425, Vol. 18, no 1, article id 5Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In social dilemmas punishment costs resources, not just from the one who is punished but often also from the punisher and society. Reciprocity on the other side is known to lead to cooperation without the costs of punishment. The questions at hand are whether punishment brings advantages besides its costs, and how its negative side-effects can be reduced to a minimum in an environment populated by agents adopting a form of reciprocity. Various punishment mechanisms have been studied in the economic literature such as unrestricted punishment, legitimate punishment, cooperative punishment, and the hired gun mechanism. In this study all these mechanisms are implemented in a simulation where agents can share resources and may decide to punish other agents when the other agents do not share. Through evolutionary learning agents adapt their sharing/punishing policy. When the availability of resources was restricted, punishment mechanisms in general performed better than no-punishment, although unrestricted punishment was performing worse. When resource availability was high, performance was better in no-punishment conditions with indirect reciprocity. Unrestricted punishment was always the worst performing mechanism. Summarized, this paper shows that, in certain environments, some punishment mechanisms can improve the efficiency of cooperation even if the cooperating system is already based on indirect reciprocity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 18, no 1, article id 5
Keywords [en]
Public Goods Games, Punishment, Cooperation, Reciprocity, Evolution of Cooperation
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) Economics
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-56491DOI: 10.18564/jasss.2647OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-56491DiVA, id: diva2:970455
Available from: 2016-09-13 Created: 2016-09-13 Last updated: 2018-04-04Bibliographically approved

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Farjam, Mike

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