The Calculus of Selfishness

The Calculus of Selfishness

by Karl Sigmund
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691142750

ISBN-13: 9780691142753

Pub. Date: 01/24/2010

Publisher: Princeton University Press

How does cooperation emerge among selfish individuals? When do people share resources, punish those they consider unfair, and engage in joint enterprises? These questions fascinate philosophers, biologists, and economists alike, for the "invisible hand" that should turn selfish efforts into public benefit is not always at work. The Calculus of Selfishness

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Overview

How does cooperation emerge among selfish individuals? When do people share resources, punish those they consider unfair, and engage in joint enterprises? These questions fascinate philosophers, biologists, and economists alike, for the "invisible hand" that should turn selfish efforts into public benefit is not always at work. The Calculus of Selfishness looks at social dilemmas where cooperative motivations are subverted and self-interest becomes self-defeating. Karl Sigmund, a pioneer in evolutionary game theory, uses simple and well-known game theory models to examine the foundations of collective action and the effects of reciprocity and reputation.

Focusing on some of the best-known social and economic experiments, including games such as the Prisoner's Dilemma, Trust, Ultimatum, Snowdrift, and Public Good, Sigmund explores the conditions leading to cooperative strategies. His approach is based on evolutionary game dynamics, applied to deterministic and probabilistic models of economic interactions.

Exploring basic strategic interactions among individuals guided by self-interest and caught in social traps, The Calculus of Selfishness analyzes to what extent one key facet of human nature--selfishness--can lead to cooperation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691142753
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
01/24/2010
Series:
Princeton Series in Theoretical and Computational Biology Series
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
1,178,763
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Preface vii

1 Introduction: Social Traps and Simple Games 1

2 Game Dynamics and Social Learning 25

3 Direct Reciprocity: The Role of Repetition 49

4 Indirect Reciprocity: The Role of Reputation 82

5 Fairness and Trust: The Power of Incentives 104

6 Public Goods and Joint Efforts: Between Freedom and Enforcement 123

7 Cooperation in Structured Populations 145

References 55

Index 169

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