Fehr and Gintis "Human Motivation and Social Cooperation" (r003)
Idea 1: Social actors, here "strong reciprocators" (SR), exist in a social environment. Their "inner" properties interact with it. That is, behavior is result of both inner tendencies and external factors.
Idea 2: A conditional cooperator tends to cooperate when she meets cooperators, but punish when she meets non-cooperators. IMPORTANT: even willing to "spend her own money" on punishment — not just revenge.
Idea 3: A world full of interacting strong reciprocators effects the environment. Macro level conditions emerge which become the environment in which the actors find themselves.
Idea 4: This contrasts with the image Hobbes (1588-1679) gave us: humans are basically selfish; put them together and they fight and struggle; result is "war of all against all"; only solution is for strong central authority or institution.
Why not do an experiment to settle this question?
- Assume N participants.
- Each gets an initial stake Y
- Each participant chooses, independently, to contribute from 0 to Y to "the public good"
- The "system" collects all the contributions, multiplies them by M which is more than 1 but less than N
- The resulting amount is divided equally among all participants.
- At end of round, individual contributions are reveal to all participants
- Each participant has option of paying for punishment of other members.
- Each punishment costs $1 and results in loss of 10% of the subject's payoff.
Macy, Michael W. and Robert Willer. 2002. "Macy+Willer-2002-AnnRevSoc-FactorsToActors.pdf From Factors to Actors: Computational Sociology and Agent-Based Modeling." Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 28 (2002), pp. 143-166
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