12 January 2012

How to protect public goods

Institutions charged with safeguarding public goods should combine optional participation in social contracts with penalties for freeloaders. 

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A pioneering IIASA study of cooperation in groups shows how voluntary accession to such contracts greatly reduces institutional costs needed for achieving full cooperation. The Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports these findings by IIASA’s Evolution and Ecology Program.

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Last edited: 19 July 2013

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