In this paper, we study an endogenous cultural selection mechanism for cooperative behavior in a setting where agents are randomly matched in a one-shot interaction Prisoner's Dilemma, and may or may not have complete information about their opponent's preferences. We locus on an endogenous socialization mechanism in which parents spend costly effort to transmit directly their trait to their offspring, taking into account the impact of (oblique) societal pressures on cultural transmission. For various ranges of parameter values, this mechanism generates a polymorphic population with a long-run presence of cooperative agents, even where replicator and indirect evolutionary mechanisms would bring about a monomorphic population with non-cooperation. Further, under some circumstances, the long-run fraction of cooperative agents is shown to be larger under incomplete than complete information.
- Cultural transmission
- Endogenous preferences
- Evolutionary selection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science