We compare the likelihood of different socially relevant features to allow the evolutionary emergence and maintenance of cooperation in a generalized variant of the iterated Prisoners Dilemma game. Results show that the average costs/benefit balance of cooperation is the primary constraint for its establishment and maintenance. Behavior increasing inclusive fitness such as assortation, homophily, kin-selection and tagging of individuals, is second in importance. Networks characteristics were the least important in favoring the establishment and maintenance of cooperation, despite being the most popular in recent research on the subject. Results suggest that inclusive fitness theory with its expansions to include assortative and economic considerations is more general, powerful and relevant in analyzing social phenomena than kin selection theory with its emphasis on genetic relatedness. Merging economics with evolutionary theory will be necessary to reveal more about the nature of social dynamics.
Relative importance of social synergy, assortation and networks in the evolution of social cooperation
Claudia Montoreano, Klaus Jaffe