Larger groups may alleviate collective action problems
Sung-Ha Hwang, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
This paper shows how larger group size can enhance punishing
behavior in social dilemmas and hence support higher levels of cooperation.
We focus on describing confict technology using Lanchester's equations and
study the role of "collectivity" of punishment to support cooperation in large
groups. The main results suggest that as long as defectors are, even slightly,
less "collective" than punishers, Lanchester's law can be applied to show that
a smaller proportion of punishers can successfully eliminate defectors as the
size of the population increases.
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