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Responses to Cheating in Need-Based Transfers: An Agent Based Model

Description

Gift-giving economies are economic models that freely give resources rather than barter for them or purchase them from market. Need-based transfers fit into this economic model by freely giving resources

Gift-giving economies are economic models that freely give resources rather than barter for them or purchase them from market. Need-based transfers fit into this economic model by freely giving resources on the basis of need, provided the giver can spare the resources. The Maasai are an East African pastoral tribe that practices need-based transfers through a tradition they call osotua. If they have a partner with an established osotua relationship, then they will give any amount of cattle that partner request, provided they can spare the cattle. Cheating each other is unheard of in this tradition, but for this simulation I am introducing cheating into this economic model through feigning need. If a cheater is not in need, they will act like they are in need. If they are in need, then the cheater will request more cattle than what they need to survive. I am testing two different responses to cheating: walking-away and punishing. In the walk-away condition, the victim ends their osotua partnership and establishes a new one. In the punishment condition, a portion of the cheater's stolen cattle is destroyed.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12