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Does Asymmetric Power Help Agents Generate and Maintain Cooperation in Competitive Games?

Endowing cooperative agents with asymmetric power in a set of agent-based models based upon a group of repeated (2X2) games (Prisoners Dilemma, Chicken, Stag, Assurance, and Deadlock) substantially increases the chances that both cooperative agents survive and that cooperative worlds evolve. This was particularly the case when agents are endowed with the ability to selectively interact with other agents in their world. These results are consistent with the general finding that non-compulsory play consistently helps cooperators. The question addressed in this analysis is whether or not asymmetric power also helps exploitive agents is such evolutionary game environments. Contrary to expectations, the simulation results reported here suggest that exploitive agents do not benefit from asymmetric power. In effect there is an asymmetry in the benefits of asymmetric power.