Success-driven distribution of public goods promotes cooperation but preserves defection

Matjaz Perc

Established already in the Biblical times, the Matthew effect stands for the fact that in societies rich tend to get richer and the potent even more powerful. Here we investigate a game theoretical model describing the evolution of cooperation on structured populations where the distribution of public goods is driven by the reproductive success of individuals. Phase diagrams reveal that cooperation is promoted irrespective of the uncertainty by strategy adoptions and the type of interaction graph, yet the complete dominance of cooperators is elusive due to the spontaneous emergence of super-persistent defectors that owe their survival to extremely rare microscopic patterns. This indicates that success-driven mechanisms are crucial for effectively harvesting benefits from collective actions, but that they may also account for the observed persistence of maladaptive behavior.

Knowledge Graph



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