A Reconsideration of Inter-Group Cooperation with Defect Problem

42 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2017 Last revised: 22 Jul 2017

See all articles by Yanling Guo

Yanling Guo

Goethe University Frankfurt

Date Written: August 31, 2016


Research has shown that seeking to benefit the own group can under certain conditions achieve the opposite result when the beneficiary inter-group cooperation opportunity is undermined with a prisoners’ dilemma type tribal interest conflict, similarly to the sole consideration of one’s own interests can even hurt oneself by undermine one’s cooperation opportunities with other commu- nity members. While the existing literature models the inter-group cooperation using the same mathematical device as for the inter-personal cooperation, I model groups as sets of individuals. By doing so, I could gain more insights into the dynamics of individual and group decision mak- ing and work out conditions under which the self-interested rational individuals are good enough to achieve the first best result, and when they need to delegate part of their decision power to their group in order to get better off, as well as when smaller groups need to further delegate part of their decision power to a superordinate institution in order to get better off.

Keywords: prisoner’s dilemma, public goods game, common pasture, tribal conflict, inter-group cooperation, utilitarianism, impartial utilitarianism, tribal utilitarianism

JEL Classification: A10, B40, C71, F34, H63, I31, Q50

Suggested Citation

Guo, Yanling, A Reconsideration of Inter-Group Cooperation with Defect Problem (August 31, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2996583 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2996583

Yanling Guo (Contact Author)

Goethe University Frankfurt ( email )


Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics