For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work


by Bowles, Samuel; Gintis, Herbert (2016)


We review game-theoretic models of cooperation with self-regarding agents. We then study the folk theorem in large groups of self-regarding individuals with imperfect information. In contrast to the dyadic case with perfect information, the level of cooperation deteriorates with larger group size and higher error rates. Moreover, no plausible account exists of how the dynamic, out-of-equilibrium behaviour of these models would support cooperative outcomes. We then analyse cooperation with other-regarding preferences, finding that a high level of cooperation can be attained in large groups and with modest informational requirements, and that conditions allowing the evolution of such social preferences are plausible.


Game Theory, Autonomy, Agency, Cooperation, Informatics


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