Second Order Free Riding Problem Solved?
Nature, Vol. 437, September 22, 2005
4 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2007
A recent model by Panchanathan and Boyd suggests that mutual aid among cooperators can promote large-scale human cooperation without succumbing to a second order free riding problem in which individuals receive aid without giving it. In a companion article, Fehr claims the model "solves [the] second order free riding problem." However, the model does not include second order free riders as one of the possible behavioural types. I present a simplified version of their model to demonstrate how cooperation unravels if second round defectors enter the population.
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