Department of Economics
Cambridge, MA 02138
NBER Program Affiliations:
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|October 2017||Global Evidence on Economic Preferences|
with Armin Falk, Anke Becker, Thomas Dohmen, David B. Huffman, Uwe Sunde: w23943
This paper studies the global variation in economic preferences. For this purpose, we present the Global Preference Survey (GPS), an experimentally validated survey dataset of time preference, risk preference, positive and negative reciprocity, altruism, and trust from 80,000 individuals 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 bio-geographic and cultural variables such as agricultural suitability, language structure, and religion. Variation in preferences is also correlated with economic ...
|June 2017||Kinship Systems, Cooperation and the Evolution of Culture|
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...