MarcK + ben.enke   4

Kinship, Cooperation, and the Evolution of Moral Systems* | The Quarterly Journal of Economics | Oxford Academic
"Across the social sciences, a key question is how societies manage to enforce cooperative behavior in social dilemmas such as public goods provision or bilateral trade. According to an influential body of theories in psychology, anthropology, and evolutionary biology, the answer is that humans have evolved moral systems: packages of functional psychological and biological mechanisms that regulate economic behavior, including a belief in moralizing gods; moral values; negative reciprocity; and emotions of shame, guilt, and disgust. Based on a stylized model, this article empirically studies the structure and evolution of these moral traits as a function of historical heterogeneity in extended kinship relationships. The evidence shows that societies with a historically tightly knit kinship structure regulate behavior through communal moral values, revenge taking, emotions of external shame, and notions of purity and disgust. In loose kinship societies, on the other hand, cooperation appears to be enforced through universal moral values, internalized guilt, altruistic punishment, and an apparent rise and fall of moralizing religions. These patterns point to the presence of internally consistent but culturally variable functional moral systems. Consistent with the model, the relationship between kinship ties, economic development, and the structure of the mediating moral systems amplified over time."
moral_psychology  morals  culture  ben.enke  QJE 
april 2019 by MarcK
Global Evidence on Economic Preferences* | The Quarterly Journal of Economics | Oxford Academic
"This article studies the global variation in economic preferences. For this purpose, we present the Global Preference Survey (GPS), an experimentally validated survey data set of time preference, risk preference, positive and negative reciprocity, altruism, and trust from 80,000 people in 76 countries. The data reveal substantial heterogeneity in preferences across countries, but even larger within-country heterogeneity. Across individuals, preferences vary with age, gender, and cognitive ability, yet these relationships appear partly country specific. At the country level, the data reveal correlations between preferences and biogeographic and cultural variables, such as agricultural suitability, language structure, and religion. Variation in preferences is also correlated with economic outcomes and behaviors. Within countries and subnational regions, preferences are linked to individual savings decisions, labor market choices, and prosocial behaviors. Across countries, preferences vary with aggregate outcomes ranging from per capita income, to entrepreneurial activities, to the frequency of armed conflicts."
preferences  preference-changes  #  armin.falk  ben.enke  anke.becker  uwe.sunde  thomas.dohmen  microeconomics  surveys 
october 2018 by MarcK
Correlation Neglect in Belief Formation | The Review of Economic Studies
"Many information structures generate correlated rather than mutually independent signals, the news media being a prime example. This paper provides experimental evidence that many people neglect the resulting double-counting problem in the updating process. In consequence, beliefs are too sensitive to the ubiquitous “telling and re-telling of stories” and exhibit excessive swings. We identify substantial and systematic heterogeneity in the presence of the bias and investigate the underlying mechanisms. The evidence points to the paramount importance of complexity in combination with people’s problems in identifying and thinking through the correlation. Even though most participants in principle have the computational skills that are necessary to develop rational beliefs, many approach the problem in a wrong way when the environment is moderately complex. Thus, experimentally nudging people’s focus towards the correlation and the underlying independent signals has large effects on beliefs."

You wouldn't realize from the abstract that this is an experiment...
ben.enke  florian.zimmermann  restud  beliefs  beliefs-updating  experiments 
december 2017 by MarcK

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