Next Article in Journal
How Moral Codes Evolve in a Trust Game
Next Article in Special Issue
What You Gotta Know to Play Good in the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma
Previous Article in Journal
Students, Temporary Workers and Co-Op Workers: An Experimental Investigation on Social Preferences
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Games 2015, 6(2), 124-149; doi:10.3390/g6020124

Should Law Keep Pace with Society? Relative Update Rates Determine the Co-Evolution of Institutional Punishment and Citizen Contributions to Public Goods

1
Gould School of Law, University of Southern California, 699 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
2
Department of Physics, Harvard University, 17 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
3
Department of Psychology, Department of Economics, School of Management, Yale University, 1 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511, USA
Joint First Authors.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Martin A. Nowak and Christian Hilbe
Received: 17 February 2015 / Revised: 30 April 2015 / Accepted: 19 May 2015 / Published: 3 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cooperation, Trust, and Reciprocity)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [8772 KB, uploaded 4 June 2015]   |  

Abstract

Until recently, theorists considering the evolution of human cooperation have paid little attention to institutional punishment, a defining feature of large-scale human societies. Compared to individually-administered punishment, institutional punishment offers a unique potential advantage: the ability to control how quickly legal rules of punishment evolve relative to social behavior that legal punishment regulates. However, at what rate should legal rules evolve relative to society to maximize compliance? We investigate this question by modeling the co-evolution of law and cooperation in a public goods game with centralized punishment. We vary the rate at which States update their legal punishment strategy relative to Citizens’ updating of their contribution strategy and observe the effect on Citizen cooperation. We find that when States have unlimited resources, slower State updating lead to more Citizen cooperation: by updating more slowly, States force Citizens to adapt to the legal punishment rules. When States depend on Citizens to finance their punishment activities, however, we find evidence of a ‘Goldilocks’ effect: optimal compliance is achieved when legal rules evolve at a critical evolutionary rate that is slow enough to force citizens to adapt, but fast enough to enable states to quickly respond to outbreaks of citizen lawlessness. View Full-Text
Keywords: social evolution; cooperation; punishment; institutions social evolution; cooperation; punishment; institutions
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Roithmayr, D.; Isakov, A.; Rand, D. Should Law Keep Pace with Society? Relative Update Rates Determine the Co-Evolution of Institutional Punishment and Citizen Contributions to Public Goods. Games 2015, 6, 124-149.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Games EISSN 2073-4336 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top