Emergence of social inequality in the spatial harvesting of renewable public goods
Effects of the imitation radius σI and imitation rate rI on the (A) average per capita resource extraction rate (expressed as a fraction of the yield-maximizing extraction rate) and (B) amount of resource left in the environment (expressed as a fraction of the system’s carrying capacity). The average per capita resource extraction rate decreases as the imitation rate is increased. In the region labeled ‘III,’ this is because a small fraction of mobile cheating consumers is exploiting the resource at a very high harvesting rate, while sedentary cooperative consumers, which form the vast majority of the population, adopt a frugal harvesting rate and receive hardly any resource. In the region labeled ‘I,’ sedentary and mobile consumers are present in roughly similar proportions, both harvesting aggressively and overexploiting the resource. In the region labeled ‘II,’ a smaller, but still substantial, proportion of cheating consumers is enabled to coexist with the cooperative consumers. S5 Fig provides additional information on the regions labeled ‘I’ to ‘III.’ Parameter values are as in Fig 6.