Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Non-Tragedy of the Non-Linear Commons

Version 1 : Received: 12 April 2020 / Approved: 15 April 2020 / Online: 15 April 2020 (02:51:41 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 14 June 2020 / Approved: 16 June 2020 / Online: 16 June 2020 (12:35:40 CEST)

How to cite: Archetti, M.; Scheuring, I.; Yu, D. The Non-Tragedy of the Non-Linear Commons. Preprints 2020, 2020040226 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0226.v1). Archetti, M.; Scheuring, I.; Yu, D. The Non-Tragedy of the Non-Linear Commons. Preprints 2020, 2020040226 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0226.v1).

Abstract

Public goods are produced at all levels of the biological hierarchy, from the secretion of diffusible molecules by cells to social interactions in humans. However, the cooperation needed to produce public goods is vulnerable to exploitation by free-riders the Tragedy of the Commons. The dominant solution to this problem of collective action is that some form of positive assortment (due to kinship or spatial structure) or of enforcement (reward and punishment) is necessary for public-goods cooperation to evolve. However, these solutions are only needed when individual contributions to the public good accrue linearly, and the assumption of linearity is never true in biology. We explain how cooperation for nonlinearpublic goods is maintained endogenously and does not require positive assortment or enforcement, and we review the considerable empirical evidence for the existence and maintenance of nonlinear public goods in biology. We argue that it is time to move beyond discussions about assortment and enforcement in the study of cooperation in biology.

Subject Areas

positive assortment; public goods; collective action; common-pool resources; cooperation; game theory; group selection; kin selection; social dilemma

Comments (0)

We encourage comments and feedback from a broad range of readers. See criteria for comments and our diversity statement.

Leave a public comment
Send a private comment to the author(s)
Views 0
Downloads 0
Comments 0
Metrics 0


×
Alerts
Notify me about updates to this article or when a peer-reviewed version is published.
We use cookies on our website to ensure you get the best experience.
Read more about our cookies here.