Indirect reciprocity is one of the major mechanisms of the evolution of cooperation. Because constant monitoring and accurate evaluation in moral assessments tend to be costly, indirect reciprocity can be exploited by cost evaders. A recent study crucially showed that a cooperative state achieved by indirect reciprocators is easily destabilized by cost evaders in the case with no supportive mechanism. Here, we present a simple and widely applicable solution that considers pre-assessment of cost evaders. In the pre-assessment, those who fail to pay for costly assessment systems are assigned a nasty image that leads to them being rejected by discriminators. We demonstrate that considering the pre-assessment can crucially stabilize reciprocal cooperation for a broad range of indirect reciprocity models. In particular for the most leading social norms, we analyse the conditions under which a prosocial state becomes locally stable.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)