NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Benjamin Enke

Department of Economics
Harvard University
Littauer M008
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: 617/496-5895

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
WWW:
NBER Program Affiliations: POL
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2017Kinship Systems, Cooperation and the Evolution of Culture
w23499
Cultural psychologists and anthropologists argue that societies have developed heterogeneous systems of social organization to cope with social dilemmas, and that an entire bundle of psychological and biological characteristics has coevolved to enforce cooperation within these different regimes. This paper develops a measure of the tightness of historical kinship structures to provide empirical evidence for this large body of theories. In the data, societies with loose ancestral kinship ties cooperate and trust broadly, which appears to be sustained through a belief in moralizing gods, universal moral values, internalized guilt, altruistic punishment, and large-scale institutions. Societies with a historically tightly knit kinship structure, on the other hand, exhibit strong in-group favor...
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us