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  • © 2022

Trust and Credit in Organizations and Institutions

As Viewed from the Evolution of Cooperation


  • Applies evolutionary game theory to study organizations and institutions, based on the evolution of cooperation

  • Does field surveys and experiments with mutual-aid systems, which is where some organizations and institutions originate

  • Takes sustainable use of ecological systems as an example of evolved institutions’ application of theory

Part of the book series: Theoretical Biology (THBIO)

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Hardcover Book USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
This title has not yet been released. You will be able to pre-order it soon.

About this book

This book shows that evolutionary game theory can unravel how mutual cooperation, trust, and credit in a group emerge in organizations and institutions. Some organizations and institutions, such as insurance unions, credit unions, and banks, originated from very simple mutual-aid groups. Members in these early-stage mutual-aid groups help each other, making rules to promote cooperation, and suppressing free riders. Then, they come to “trust” not only each other but also the group they belong to, itself. 

The division of labor occurs when the society comes to have diversity and complexity in a larger group, and the division of labor also requires mutual cooperation and trust among different social roles. In a larger group, people cannot directly interact with each other, and the reputation of  unknown people helps other decide who is a trustworthy person. However, if gossip spreads untruths about a reputation, trust and cooperation are destroyed. Therefore, how to suppress untrue gossip is also important for trust and cooperation in a larger group. If trustworthiness and credibility can be established, these groups are successfully sustainable. Some develop and evolve and then mature into larger organizations and institutions. Finally, these organizations and institutions become what they are now. Therefore, not only cooperation but also trust and credit are keys to understanding these organizations and institutions.

The evolution of cooperation, a topic of research in evolutionary ecology and evolutionary game theory, can be applied to understanding how to make institutions and organizations sustainable, trustworthy, and credible. It provides us with the idea that evolutionary game theory is a good mathematical tool to analyze trust and credit. This kind of research can be applied to current hot topics such as microfinance and the sustainable use of ecosystems.


  • Evolution of cooperation
  • Mutual-aid group
  • Organization
  • Institution
  • Trust
  • Evolutionary game theory
  • Agent-based modelling

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Innovation Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Minato-ku, Japan

    Mayuko Nakamaru

About the author

Mayuko Nakamaru
Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo Japan

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
This title has not yet been released. You will be able to pre-order it soon.