The exclusion of freeriders from common privileges or public acceptance is widely found in the real world. Current models on the evolution of cooperation with incentives mostly assume peer sanctioning, whereby a punisher imposes penalties on freeriders at a cost to itself. It is well known that such costly punishment has two substantial difficulties. First, a rare punishing cooperator barely subverts the asocial society of freeriders, and second, natural selection often eliminates punishing cooperators in the presence of non-punishing cooperators (namely, "second-order" freeriders). We present a game-theoretical model of social exclusion in which a punishing cooperator can exclude freeriders from benefit sharing. We show that such social exclusion can overcome the above-mentioned difficulties even if it is costly and stochastic. The results do not require a genetic relationship, repeated interaction, reputation, or group selection. Instead, only a limited number of freeriders are required to prevent the second-order freeriders from eroding the social immune system.
- Pub Date:
- November 2012
- Physics - Physics and Society;
- Computer Science - Social and Information Networks;
- Nonlinear Sciences - Adaptation and Self-Organizing Systems;
- Quantitative Biology - Populations and Evolution
- 28 pages, 3 figures, supplementary material (materials and methods, and 6 supplementary figures)