Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Throughout their life, humans often engage in public goods games in situations ranging from family related issues to global warming. In all cases, the tragedy of the commons threatens the possibility of reaching the optimal solution associated with global cooperation. Up to now, individuals have been treated as equivalent in all respects, in sharp contrast with real life situations, where diversity abounds. Here we discuss the results reported in [Santos et al., Nature (2008) 454:213-6], where we show how social diversity provides an escape from this paradox. We investigate the impact of social diversity in the evolution of cooperation in complex networks of interaction. We show that the diversity in the number and size of the collective endeavors each individual participates and with the individual contribution to each investment promotes cooperation. The enhancement of cooperation is particularly strong when both wealth and social ties follow a power-law distribution, providing clues on the self-organization of social communities.