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How Wealth Accumulation Can Promote Cooperation

Figure 4

Asymptotic proportion of cooperators without and with wealth accumulation.

The contour plot shows the average final proportion of cooperators in the world, as a function of the payoff parameters (horizontal axis) and (vertical axis). (A) In a world in which payoffs are homogenous across agents, the proportion of cooperators is low for any . (B) In an unequal environment, in which the rich can become richer, cooperation is stable for a much larger range of payoff parameters. The top-left quadrant corresponds to the harmony game (HG); the bottom-left ( and ) to the stag-hunt (or ‘assurance’) game (SH); the upper-right quadrant (, ) to the snowdrift (or ‘chicken’) game (SD); and the lower-right quadrant ( and ) corresponds to the prisoner's dilemma (PD) [33].

Figure 4