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An Evolutionary Theory of Suicide

Department of Economics, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, UK
Department of Economics, University of Texas at Austin, 2225 Speedway, BRB 1.116 - C3100, Austin, TX 78712, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Games 2013, 4(3), 426-436;
Received: 15 May 2013 / Revised: 22 July 2013 / Accepted: 31 July 2013 / Published: 13 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Evolutionary Game Theory and Applications)
PDF [3884 KB, uploaded 13 August 2013]


We analyze a model in which individuals have hereditary reproductive types. The reproductive value of an individual is determined by her reproductive type and the amount of resources she can access. We introduce the possibility of suicide and assume it is also a genetic trait that interacts with the reproductive type of an individual. The main result of the paper is that populations where suicide is possible grow faster than other populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: suicide; evolution; group selection suicide; evolution; group selection

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Szentes, B.; Thomas, C.D. An Evolutionary Theory of Suicide. Games 2013, 4, 426-436.

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