The evolution of cooperation in the centipede game with finite populations

Philosophy of Science 75 (2):157-177 (2008)
Abstract
The partial cooperation displayed by subjects in the Centipede Game deviates radically from the predictions of traditional game theory. Even standard, infinite population, evolutionary settings have failed to provide an explanation for this behavior. However, recent work in finite population evolutionary models has shown that such settings can produce radically different results from the standard models. This paper examines the evolution of partial cooperation in finite populations. The results reveal a new possible explanation that is not open to the standard models and gives us reason to be cautious when employing these otherwise helpful idealizations. *Received January 2007; revised November 2007. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, University of California, 3151 Social Science Plaza A, Irvine, CA 92697-5100; e-mail: rsmead@uci.edu.
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