Modelling the emergence of an egalitarian society in the n-player game framework

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Abstract

Unlike other primates, human foragers have an egalitarian society. Therefore, the evolution of egalitarian behaviour has been the subject of long-standing debate in a wide variety of disciplines. A recent hypothesis states that a social control against potentially dominant individuals played an important role in the emergence of an egalitarian society. In the present study, we modelled this hypothesis based on the n-player game framework, in which the owner, who may attempt to monopolise resources, could be punished by a coalition of other group members. Our results suggest that a potentially despotic payoff structure can promote the evolution of egalitarian behaviour. Besides, large group size, small cost of competition, and variation in the strengths of individuals can promote the evolution of egalitarian behaviour. Our results suggest the importance of both social control against dominant individuals and benefits of a coalition for the evolution of egalitarian behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume461
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 14

Keywords

  • Coalition formation
  • Equality
  • Resource sharing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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