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A limited mobility of minorities facilitates cooperation in social dilemmas

Individuals often move to distance themselves from defectors, or to seek better chances for higher payoffs, for example moving from rural to urban areas. Regardless of the reason, however, moving frequently also means alienation, which in turn means bearing costs for seeking new opportunities. With this motivation, we study a prisoner’s dilemma game, where individuals with defectors in their communities either move or update their strategy. We find that the alienation from defectors reinforces larger and more compact cooperative clusters. However, the number of cooperative clusters depends on the viscosity of the interaction network, where network reciprocity still works well. And it is the fine-tuned interplay between the mobility to alienate from defectors and a still functioning network reciprocity that works best in promoting cooperation. Our results suggest that a limited mobility of minorities could spare public resources in social dilemma situations more effectively than reward and punishment.


W. Li, L. Jiang, M. Perc, A limited mobility of minorities facilitates cooperation in social dilemmas, Applied Mathematics and Computation 391 (2020) 125705

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