Cooperation in an Uncertain World: For the Maasai of East Africa, Need-Based Transfers Outperform Account-Keeping in Volatile Environments

  title={Cooperation in an Uncertain World: For the Maasai of East Africa, Need-Based Transfers Outperform Account-Keeping in Volatile Environments},
  author={Athena Aktipis and Rolando de Aguiar and Anna Flaherty and Padmini Iyer and Dennis Sonkoi and Lee Cronk},
  booktitle={Human ecology: an interdisciplinary journal},
Using an agent-based model to study risk-pooling in herder dyads using rules derived from Maasai osotua ("umbilical cord") relationships, Aktipis et al. (2011) found that osotua transfers led to more risk-pooling and better herd survival than both no transfers and transfers that occurred at frequencies tied to those seen in the osotua simulations. Here we expand this approach by comparing osotua-style transfers to another type of livestock transfer among Maasai known as esile ("debt"). In… CONTINUE READING
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