Juan Camilo Cárdenas

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Large-scale societies in which strangers regularly engage in mutually beneficial transactions are puzzling. The evolutionary mechanisms associated with kinship and reciprocity, which underpin much of primate sociality, do not readily extend to large unrelated groups. Theory suggests that the evolution of such societies may have required norms and(More)
Using data from a field experiment conducted in seventy Colombian municipalities, we investigate who pools risk with whom when risk pooling arrangements are not formally enforced. We explore the roles played by risk attitudes and network connections both theoretically and empirically. We find that pairs of participants who share a bond of friendship or(More)
A large, but inconclusive, literature addresses how economic heterogeneity affects the use of local resources and local environmental quality. One line of thought, which derives from Nash equilibrium provision of public goods, suggests that in contexts in which individual actions degrade local environmental quality, wealthier people in a community will tend(More)
We use the colonial organization of chieftaincy in Sierra Leone to study the effect of constraints on chiefs’ power on economic outcomes, citizens’ attitudes and social capital. A paramount chief must come from one of the ruling families originally recognized by British colonial authorities. Chiefs face fewer constraints and less political competition in(More)
We model the dynamic effects of external enforcement on the exploitation of a common pool resource. Fitting our model to the results of experimental data we find that institutions influence social preferences. We solve two puzzles in the data: the increase and later erosion of cooperation when commoners vote against the imposition of a fine, and the high(More)
The lowest level of government in sub-Saharan Africa is often a cadre of chiefs who raise taxes, control the judicial system and allocate the most important scarce resource—land. Chiefs, empowered by colonial indirect rule, are often accused of using their power despotically and inhibiting rural development. Yet others view them as traditional(More)
This paper explores the role of group heterogeneity in collective action among forest communities in northwestern Himalayas. Based on data from 54 forest communities in Himachal Pradesh, India, this paper finds that heterogeneity has at least three dimensions: wealth, social identity and interest in the resource, and each may significantly affect collective(More)
Abstract. Data from three bargaining games—the Dictator Game, the Ultimatum Game, and the Third-Party Punishment Game—played in 15 societies are presented. The societies range from US undergraduates to Amazonian, Arctic, and African hunter-gatherers. Behaviour within the games varies markedly across societies. The paper investigates whether this behavioural(More)