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Social capital and cooperation

Essential readings

Costa, D., Kahn, M. (2003). Cowards and Heroes: Group Loyalty in the American Civil War. Quarterly Journal of Economics. 118 (2): 519-548

What motivated men to risk death in the most horrific war in U.S. history when pay was low and...

Bénabou, R. J. M., Tirole, J. (2006). Incentives and Prosocial Behavior. American Economic Review 96 (5), 1652-1678

We develop a theory of prosocial behavior that combines heterogeneity in individual altruism and...

Important readings

Greif, A., Tabellini, G. (2012). The Clan and the City: Sustaining Cooperation in China and Europe

Over the last millennium, the clan and the city have been the locus of cooperation in China and...

Reading list archive

Benabou, R., Tirole, J. (2011). Identity, Morals and Taboos: Beliefs as Assets. Quarterly Journal of Economics, in press.

We develop a theory of moral behavior, individual and collective, based on a general model of...

Bowles, S., Gintis, H. (2004). The Evolution of Strong Reciprocity: Cooperation in Heterogeneous Populations. Theoretical Population Biology 65, 17-28

How do human groups maintain a high level of cooperation despite a low level of genetic relatedness...

Burchardi, K., Hassan, T. (2011). The Economic Impact of Social Ties: Evidence from German Reunification. CEPR Discussion Paper DP8470

We use the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 to identify a causal effect of social ties on regional...

Charness, G., Rustichini, A. (2010). Gender differences in cooperation with group membership

We study experimentally how males and females differ in the way same-gender peers observing their...

Ermisch, J., Gambetta, D. (2011). Do strong family ties inhibit trust? Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 75: 365–376.

We provide direct evidence that people with strong family ties have a lower level of trust in...

Frey, B. S., Meier, S. (2004). Pro-social behavior in a natural setting. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 54, 65–88

Empirical evidence is provided for the importance of pro-social behavior of individuals in an...

Frey, B., Savage, D. A., Trogler, B. (2011). Behavior under Extreme Conditions: The Titanic Disaster. Journal of Economic Perspectives 24 (4), 1–14

For social scientists, evidence about how people behaved as the Titanic sunk offers a quasi-natural...

Upcoming events


The Economics of Informality Conference 2018

Mon, 2018-05-28 - Tue, 2018-05-29


Social capital, public participation and democracy

Wed, 2018-09-12 - Fri, 2018-09-14


Networks and Innovation

Thu, 2018-11-15 - Sat, 2018-11-17