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Recent behavioral experiments aimed at understanding the evolutionary foundations of human cooperation have suggested that a willingness to engage in costly punishment, even in one-shot situations, may be part of human psychology and a key element in understanding our sociality. However, because most experiments have been confined to students in(More)
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)
Regulations that are designed to improve social welfare typically begin with the premise that individuals are purely self-interested. Therefore, in a situation in which private and social interests diverge, it should be possible to bring about a welfare improvement by imposing rules that provide the necessary incentives for more socially efficient choices.(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)
Explanations of poverty, growth and development depend on the assumptions made about individual preferences and the willingness to engage in strategic behaviour. Economic experiments, especially those conducted in the field, have begun to paint a picture of economic agents in developing communities that is at variance with the traditional portrait. We(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 discuss the following three themes on the use of field experiments to study economic development: (1) We summarize the arguments for and against using experiments to gather behavioral data in the field; (2) We argue and illustrate that field experiments can provide data on behavior that can be used in subsequent analyses of the effect of behavioral(More)
Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and not those of IZA. Research published in this series may include views on policy, but the institute itself takes no institutional policy positions. The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn is a local and virtual international research center and a place of communication between science,(More)
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 diversity(More)