Economic game theory for mutualism and cooperation

Marco Archetti, István Scheuring, Moshe Hoffman, Megan E. Frederickson, Naomi E. Pierce, Douglas W. Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

87 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We review recent work at the interface of economic game theory and evolutionary biology that provides new insights into the evolution of partner choice, host sanctions, partner fidelity feedback and public goods. (1) The theory of games with asymmetrical information shows that the right incentives allow hosts to screen-out parasites and screen-in mutualists, explaining successful partner choice in the absence of signalling. Applications range from ant-plants to microbiomes. (2) Contract theory distinguishes two longstanding but weakly differentiated explanations of host response to defectors: host sanctions and partner fidelity feedback. Host traits that selectively punish misbehaving symbionts are parsimoniously interpreted as pre-adaptations. Yucca-moth and legume-rhizobia mutualisms are argued to be examples of partner fidelity feedback. (3) The theory of public goods shows that cooperation in multi-player interactions can evolve in the absence of assortment, in one-shot social dilemmas among non-kin. Applications include alarm calls in vertebrates and exoenzymes in microbes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1300-1312
Number of pages13
JournalEcology Letters
Volume14
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

Fingerprint

game theory
mutualism
economic theory
economics
sanction
Prodoxidae
evolutionary biology
rhizobacterium
symbiont
Rhizobium
symbionts
moth
ant
incentive
Formicidae
parasite
vertebrate
legumes
vertebrates
co-operation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Archetti, M., Scheuring, I., Hoffman, M., Frederickson, M. E., Pierce, N. E., & Yu, D. W. (2011). Economic game theory for mutualism and cooperation. Ecology Letters, 14(12), 1300-1312. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01697.x
Archetti, Marco ; Scheuring, István ; Hoffman, Moshe ; Frederickson, Megan E. ; Pierce, Naomi E. ; Yu, Douglas W. / Economic game theory for mutualism and cooperation. In: Ecology Letters. 2011 ; Vol. 14, No. 12. pp. 1300-1312.
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Archetti, M, Scheuring, I, Hoffman, M, Frederickson, ME, Pierce, NE & Yu, DW 2011, 'Economic game theory for mutualism and cooperation', Ecology Letters, vol. 14, no. 12, pp. 1300-1312. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01697.x

Economic game theory for mutualism and cooperation. / Archetti, Marco; Scheuring, István; Hoffman, Moshe; Frederickson, Megan E.; Pierce, Naomi E.; Yu, Douglas W.

In: Ecology Letters, Vol. 14, No. 12, 01.12.2011, p. 1300-1312.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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Archetti M, Scheuring I, Hoffman M, Frederickson ME, Pierce NE, Yu DW. Economic game theory for mutualism and cooperation. Ecology Letters. 2011 Dec 1;14(12):1300-1312. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01697.x