Group beneficial norms can spread rapidly in a structured population

Robert Boyd, Peter J. Richerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

215 Scopus citations

Abstract

Group beneficial norms are common in human societies. The persistence of such norms is consistent with evolutionary game theory, but existing models do not provide a plausible explanation for why they are common. We show that when a model of imitation used to derive replicator dynamics in isolated populations is generalized to allow for population structure, group beneficial norms can spread rapidly under plausible conditions. We also show that this mechanism allows recombination of different group beneficial norms arising in different populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-296
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume215
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

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