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Local Reputation, Local Selection, and the Leading Eight Social Norms

27 gennaio 2021

Humans are capable of solving cooperation problems following social norms. Social norms dictate appropriate behavior and judgement on others in response to their previous actions and reputation. The so-called leading eight norms have been identified from many potential social norms that can sustain cooperation through a reputation-based indirect reciprocity mechanism. Despite indirect reciprocity being claimed to extend direct reciprocity in larger populations where direct experiences cannot be accumulated, the success of social norms have been analysed in models with global information and evolution. This study is the first to analyse the leading eight norms with local information and evolution. We find that the leading eight are robust against selfish players within most scenarios and can maintain a high level of cooperation also with local information and evolution. In fact, local evolution sustains cooperation under a wider set of conditions than global evolution, while local reputation does not hinder cooperation compared to global reputation. Four of the leading eight norms that do not reward justified defection offer better chances for cooperation with quick evolution, reputation with noise, larger networks, and when unconditional defectors enter the population.


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Simone Righi, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia