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Cooperation in Public Goods Games: Stay, But Not for Too Long

Departamento de Física, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Caixa Postal 702, Belo Horizonte CEP 30161-970, MG, Brazil
Instituto de Física, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Caixa Postal 15051, Porto Alegre CEP 91501-970, RS, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Games 2017, 8(3), 35;
Received: 16 June 2017 / Revised: 10 July 2017 / Accepted: 15 August 2017 / Published: 18 August 2017
PDF [698 KB, uploaded 18 August 2017]


Cooperation in repeated public goods game is hardly achieved, unless contingent behavior is present. Surely, if mechanisms promoting positive assortment between cooperators are present, then cooperators may beat defectors, because cooperators would collect greater payoffs. In the context of evolutionary game theory, individuals that always cooperate cannot win the competition against defectors in well-mixed populations. Here, we study the evolution of a population where fitness is obtained in repeated public goods games and players have a fixed probability of playing the next round. As a result, the group size decreases during the game. The population is well-mixed and there are only two available strategies: always cooperate (ALLC) or always defect (ALLD). Through numerical calculation and analytical approximations we show that cooperation can emerge if the players stay playing the game, but not for too long. The essential mechanism is the interaction between the transition from strong to weak altruism, as the group size decreases, and the existence of an upper limit to the number of rounds representing limited time availability. View Full-Text
Keywords: evolutionary game theory; public goods game; repeated games; fixation probability evolutionary game theory; public goods game; repeated games; fixation probability

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Wardil, L.; Amaral, M.A. Cooperation in Public Goods Games: Stay, But Not for Too Long. Games 2017, 8, 35.

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