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Centre of Migration Research

Oded Stark, Doris A. Behrens, Yong Wang. 2008.

On the Evolutionary Edge of Migration as an Assortative Mating Device


CMR Working Papers, Nr 32(90)


In a haystack-type representation of a heterogeneous population that is evolving according to a payoff structure of a prisoner’s dilemma game, migration is modeled as a process of “swapping” individuals between heterogeneous groups of constant size after a random allocation fills the haystacks, but prior to mating. Migration is characterized by two parameters: an exogenous participation-in-migration cost (of search, coordination, movement, and arrangement-making) which measures the migration effort, and an exogenous technology - of coordinating and facilitating movement between populated haystacks and the colonization of currently unpopulated haystacks - which measures the migration intensity. Starting from an initially heterogeneous population that consists of both cooperators and defectors a scenario is postulated under which “programmed” migration can act as a mechanism that brings about a long-run survival of cooperation.