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Journal Article

The volunteer's dilemma in finite populations


Konrad,  Kai A.
Public Economics, MPI for Tax Law and Public Finance, Max Planck Society;

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Konrad, K. A., & Morath, F. (2021). The volunteer's dilemma in finite populations. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 31(4), 1277-1290. doi:10.1007/s00191-020-00719-y.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-231D-F
We study the long-run stochastic stability properties of volunteering strategies in finite populations. We allow for mixed strategies, characterized by the probability that a player may not volunteer. A pairwise comparison of evolutionary strategies shows that the strategy with a lower probability of volunteering is advantaged. However, in the long run there are also populations of volunteering types. Monomorphisms with the more volunteering types are more frequent if the populations have fewer members, and if the benefits from volunteering are larger. Such monomorphisms with volunteering cease to exist if the population becomes infinitely large. In contrast, the disadvantage of volunteering disappears if the ratio of individual benefits and costs of volunteering becomes infinitely large.