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Open AccessArticle

How Moral Codes Evolve in a Trust Game

Economics Department, Ball State University, 2000 W. University Ave. Muncie, IN 47306, USA
Department of Economics, University of California Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Wolfram Elsner
Games 2015, 6(2), 150-160;
Received: 28 April 2015 / Accepted: 29 May 2015 / Published: 3 June 2015
PDF [1224 KB, uploaded 3 June 2015]


This paper analyzes the dynamic stability of moral codes in a two population trust game. Guided by a moral code, members of one population, the Trustors, are willing to punish members of the other population, the Trustees, who defect. Under replicator dynamics, adherence to the moral code has unstable oscillations around an interior Nash Equilibrium (NE), but under smoothed best response dynamics we obtain convergence to Quantal Response Equilibrium (QRE). View Full-Text
Keywords: Prisoner’s Dilemma; evolutionary stability; moral codes Prisoner’s Dilemma; evolutionary stability; moral codes

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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).

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Rabanal, J.P.; Friedman, D. How Moral Codes Evolve in a Trust Game. Games 2015, 6, 150-160.

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