The Evolution of Cooperation in Structured Populations

Thorbjørn Knudsen

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Abstract

How does population dynamics influence outcomes in situations with public good characteristics? The present paper answers this question by analysing the evolution of costly cooperation in a multi-group population. Building on insights first developed in modern biology the idea of viscous population equilibria is introduced (a population is said to be viscous when a (sub)population of players is spatially or genetically clustered). A simple model then analyses how the combined effect of viscosity within multiple subgroups and different levels of between-group segregation influences the evolution of cooperation. The results suggest that a key issue in the evolution of cooperation is the shifting balance between the need to protect cooperators and propagation of the tendency to cooperate.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherThe Link Program
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes
SeriesLINK Working Paper
Number2001-26

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