The co-evolution of social institutions, demography, and large-scale human cooperation

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Version: Final published version
Serval ID
serval:BIB_36F84DA8FF27
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Title
The co-evolution of social institutions, demography, and large-scale human cooperation
Journal
Ecology Letters
Author(s)
Powers S.T., Lehmann L.
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2013
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
16
Number
11
Pages
1356-1364
Language
english
Abstract
Human cooperation is typically coordinated by institutions, which determine the outcome structure of the social interactions individuals engage in. Explaining the Neolithic transition from small- to large-scale societies involves understanding how these institutions co-evolve with demography. We study this using a demographically explicit model of institution formation in a patch-structured population. Each patch supports both social and asocial niches. Social individuals create an institution, at a cost to themselves, by negotiating how much of the costly public good provided by cooperators is invested into sanctioning defectors. The remainder of their public good is invested in technology that increases carrying capacity, such as irrigation systems. We show that social individuals can invade a population of asocials, and form institutions that support high levels of cooperation. We then demonstrate conditions where the co-evolution of cooperation, institutions, and demographic carrying capacity creates a transition from small- to large-scale social groups.
Keywords
institutions , punishment , large-scale societies , Neolithic Demographic Transition , cooperation , agriculture , irrigation , tragedy of the commons
Open Access
Yes
Create date
01/09/2013 18:07
Last modification date
20/08/2019 13:25
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