Bergstrom, Theodore C. and Stark, Oded
How altruism can prevail in an evolutionary environment
Papers and Proceedings of the American Economic Association Annual Meeting
American Economic Review 83. 2 (May, 1993):149 (7 pages; includes bibliography)


Economists tend to believe that humans are selfish. The use of evolution to explain selfishness is based on the theory that altruists are eliminated by evolution because people who receive high payoffs are favored by natural selection and because selfish people receive higher payoffs than altruists. An economic model shows that cooperative behavior can exist in an evolutionary environment in situations in which cooperation provides benefits to the opponent at a cost to the individual.



Maintained by Francis F. Steen, Communication Studies, University of California Los Angeles