Complexity Explorer Santa Few Institute


public-goods games

Public-goods games are generalized economic games where a finite amount of a resource is available to a community, whose members decide how much of this resource each of them utilize. Collectively, the community is richest by everyone conserving the resource for future renewal, although there is always temptation for a greedy individual to use more than their fair share. This incentive is due to the possibility of reaping all the benefits from individual enrichment without incurring most of the negative consequences, despite the total net harm to the community outweighing this private benefit. Multiple farmers' cattle grazing on a common pasture is a classic example of this type of game. This situation is often modeled as an N-player prisoner's dilemma.

Economics, Game Theory