Evol Ecol Res 7: 853-870 (2005)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

The evolution of altruism by costly punishment in lattice-structured populations: score-dependent viability versus score-dependent fertility

Mayuko Nakamaru1* and Yoh Iwasa2

1Department of Systems Engineering, Shizuoka University, Johoku 3-5-1, Hamamatsu 432-8561 and  2Department of Biology, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan

Address all correspondence to Mayuko Nakamaru, Department of Value and Decision Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 O-okayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8552, Japan.
e-mail: nakamaru@valdes.titech.ac.jp


Question: What part might punishment play in maintaining cooperation in animal and human societies?

Mathematical method: Evolutionary game theory. The game’s score modifies either viability or fertility.

Key assumptions: The population is spatially structured. After a player dies, a copy of one of its nearest neighbours fills the vacancy. Altruists may punish selfish individuals by forcing them to pay a ‘fine’, but the punisher itself must pay to impose the fine.

Conclusions: Punishment can make altruism an evolutionarily stable strategy. In a well-mixed population, if the score affects fertility, then an altruist-punisher cannot invade a selfish population. But it can invade if the score affects viability and the fine is large. In a spatially structured population, an altruist-punisher can invade a selfish population whether the score affects viability or fertility. In the viability model, large fines promote altruism. But in the fertility model, either a large fine or a high benefit of cooperation promotes altruism.

Keywords: altruism, lattice, punishment, score-dependent fertility, score-dependent viability.

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