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The Evolution of Cooperation in the Centipede Game with Finite Populations*

Rory Smead
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 75, No. 2 (April 2008), pp. 157-177
DOI: 10.1086/590197
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/590197
Page Count: 21
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Abstract

The partial cooperation displayed by subjects in the Centipede Game deviates radically from the predictions of traditional game theory. Even standard, infinite population, evolutionary settings have failed to provide an explanation for this behavior. However, recent work in finite population evolutionary models has shown that such settings can produce radically different results from the standard models. This paper examines the evolution of partial cooperation in finite populations. The results reveal a new possible explanation that is not open to the standard models and gives us reason to be cautious when employing these otherwise helpful idealizations.

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