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Unfair and Anomalous Evolutionary Dynamics from Fluctuating Payoffs

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Stollmeier Frank, Nagler Jan,
Project The Anatomy of Systemic Financial Risk: Combining Ethical, Political and Economic Dimensions for Public Policy
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Physical Review Letters
Volume (Issue) 120(5)
Page(s) 058101 - 058101
Title of proceedings Physical Review Letters
DOI 10.1103/physrevlett.120.058101


Evolution occurs in populations of reproducing individuals. Reproduction depends on the payoff a strategy receives. The payoff depends on the environment that may change over time, on intrinsic uncertainties, and on other sources of randomness. These temporal variations in the payoffs can affect which traits evolve. Understanding evolutionary game dynamics that are affected by varying payoffs remains difficult. Here we study the impact of arbitrary amplitudes and covariances of temporally varying payoffs on the dynamics. The evolutionary dynamics may be “unfair,” meaning that, on average, two coexisting strategies may persistently receive different payoffs. This mechanism can induce an anomalous coexistence of cooperators and defectors in the prisoner’s dilemma, and an unexpected selection reversal in the hawk-dove game.