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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Evolution of Behavior in Family Games


William Hamilton developed the biological theory of kin selection before game theory became familiar to biologists. Thus he implicitly confined his analysis to a rather special subclass of games, with linear structure. This paper shows that while Hamilton's rule does not apply to a more general class of games, there is a useful generalization that does apply. This paper also generalizes results in my 1995 AER paper on sibling interaction from symmetric two-player games to multiplayer games that may be asymmetric.

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