Beyond Carrots and Sticks: How Cooperation and Its Rewards Evolve Together

Luigino Bruni, Fabrizio Panebianco, Alessandra Smerilli

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

8 Citazioni (Scopus)


This paper is based on the intuition of Dragonetti, an old Neapolitan economist, which argues that a society experiences economic and civic development if agents promote values and virtues, more than solely rely on punishments stated by law. We thus study the evolution of cooperative behaviors using a mechanism of endogenous social rewards for cooperation (SRC). These additional (material) rewards depend on the recognition that the society-each agent in the society-gives to cooperative strategies. We formalize it with a cultural evolution model in which the payoff matrix and the population shares coevolve. We find that this endogenous mechanism can produce a large variety of long-run situations (victory of cooperators, of non-cooperators or, finally, their coexistence) depending on the social features. Moreover, we analyze the differences between SRC and exogenous punishment, changes in cooperation costs or changes in repetition of interactions and we disentangle their respective contributions. © 2014 The Association for Social Economics.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)55-82
Numero di pagine28
RivistaReview of Social Economy
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2014


  • Cooperation
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • cultural evolution
  • prisoner's dilemma
  • reciprocity


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