Imitation of Success Leads to Cost of Living Mediated Fairness in the Ultimatum Game [article]

Yunong Chen and Andrew Belmonte and Christopher Griffin
2020 arXiv   pre-print
The mechanism behind the emergence of cooperation in both biological and social systems is currently not understood. In particular, human behavior in the Ultimatum game is almost always irrational, preferring mutualistic sharing strategies, while chimpanzees act rationally and selfishly. However, human behavior varies with geographic and cultural differences leading to distinct behaviors. In this paper, we analyze a social imitation model that incorporates internal energy caches (e.g.,
more » ... y savings), cost of living, death, and reproduction. We show that when imitation (and death) occurs, a natural correlation between selfishness and cost of living emerges. However, in all societies that do not collapse, non-Nash sharing strategies emerge as the de facto result of imitation. We explain these results by constructing a mean-field approximation of the internal energy cache informed by time-varying distributions extracted from experimental data. Results from a meta-analysis on geographically diverse ultimatum game studies in humans, show the proposed model captures some of the qualitative aspects of the real-world data and suggests further experimentation.
arXiv:2009.01970v2 fatcat:45kxejmgtbdsnjeywgrmw4hyom