more from Robert Axelrod

Single Idea 22725

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / B. Contract Ethics / 8. Contract Strategies]

Full Idea

When players will never meet again, the strategy of defection is the only stable strategy.


'Defectors' are non-cooperators

Gist of Idea

When players don't meet again, defection is the best strategy


Robert Axelrod (The Evolution of Co-Operation [1984], 5)

Book Reference

Axelrod,Robert: 'The Evolution of Co-Operation' [Penguin 1990], p.92

A Reaction

This gives good grounds for any community's mistrust of transient strangers, such as tourists. And yet any sensible tourist will want communities to trust tourists, and will therefore behave in a reliable way.