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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59894. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059894. Epub 2013 Mar 28.

Strict or graduated punishment? Effect of punishment strictness on the evolution of cooperation in continuous public goods games.

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1
Department of Value and Decision Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

Whether costly punishment encourages cooperation is one of the principal questions in studies on the evolution of cooperation and social sciences. In society, punishment helps deter people from flouting rules in institutions. Specifically, graduated punishment is a design principle for long-enduring common-pool resource institutions. In this study, we investigate whether graduated punishment can promote a higher cooperation level when each individual plays the public goods game and has the opportunity to punish others whose cooperation levels fall below the punisher's threshold. We then examine how spatial structure affects evolutionary dynamics when each individual dies inversely proportional to the game score resulting from the social interaction and another player is randomly chosen from the population to produce offspring to fill the empty site created after a player's death. Our evolutionary simulation outcomes demonstrate that stricter punishment promotes increased cooperation more than graduated punishment in a spatially structured population, whereas graduated punishment increases cooperation more than strict punishment when players interact with randomly chosen opponents from the population. The mathematical analysis also supports the results.

PMID:
23555826
PMCID:
PMC3610843
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0059894
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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