Essays on Cooperation and Competition
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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Understanding the basic concepts of cooperation and competition is fundamental to understanding economic and social behavior. These essays explore two somewhat different areas in which cooperation and competition play a role. This dissertation explores how cooperative behavior evolves and is sustained in situations which can be modeled with the Prisoners Dilemma. This is accomplished through a replication of Robert Axelrods famous Prisoners Dilemma tournament with the payoffs calculated to take the infinite nature of the game into account and computer simulations which analyze the stability these results in the presence of mutation. We can then see what characteristics the successful strategies have in various situations. The rent-seeking games originally modeled by Gordon Tullock are then investigated. Two modifications to the existing literature are explored. First, these games are modified to be played sequentially. Then, the players valuations for the prize in these games are modified to be vectors. This allows players to have different preferences over who wins the prize. The results of this study indicate total rent-seeking expenditure depends on which player goes first and their relative valuations. This work also explains why some players may choose not to participate in these contests.
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