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Market Integration and Prosocial Behavior: Some Evidence from the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample. Malcolm McLaren Dow, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences, Northwestern University

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slide1

Market Integration and Prosocial Behavior: Some Evidence from the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample.

  • Malcolm McLaren Dow, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences, Northwestern University
  • E. Anthon Eff, Associate Professor, Department of Economics and Finance, Middle Tennessee State University  
slide2

From the literature: Experimental games conducted by ethnographers show that more generous behavior is seen in societies with higher levels of market integration.

  • In this paper: Test to see if prosocial behavior (generosity, honesty, trust) is associated with markets, using Standard Cross-Cultural Sample, a data set containing wide range of human societies. Two econometric issues:
    • Galton’s problem
    • Missing data
experimental games conducted by ethnographers
Experimental games conducted by Ethnographers
  • Henrich, Joseph, Robert Boyd, Samuel Bowles, Colin Camerer, Ernst Fehr, Herbert Gintis, et al. (2004). Foundations of Human Sociality: Economic Experiments and Ethnographic Evidence from Fifteen Small-Scale Societies. Oxford University Press.
  • Henrich, Joseph, Robert Boyd, Samuel Bowles, Colin Camerer, Ernst Fehr, Herbert Gintis, et al. (2005). “’Economic Man’ in Cross-Cultural Perspective: Behavioral Experiments in 15 Small-Scale Societies.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28(6):795-855
  • Efferson, Charles, Masanori Takezawa, Richard McElreath. (2007). “New Methods in Quantitative Ethnography: Economic Experiments and Variation in the Price of Equality.” Current Anthropology 48(6): 912-919.
  • Lesorogol, Carolyn K. (2007). “Bringing Norms In: The Role of Context in Experimental Dictator Games.” Current Anthropology 48(6): 920-926.
ultimatum game
Ultimatum Game

Responder has 2 options:

  • Accepts $2, Proposer keeps $8.
  • Rejects $2, Donor keeps entire $10
  • Donor (ethnographer): Gives $10 to Proposer
  • Proposer: Offers $2 to Responder

Responder can “punish” Proposer by rejecting offer. Proposer has incentive to keep offer high.

dictator game
Dictator Game

Responder has one option:

  • Accepts $2, Proposer keeps $8.
  • Donor (ethnographer): Gives $10 to Proposer
  • Proposer: Offers $2 to Responder
slide7

Mean in industrialized

nations=0.45; mode=0.5

Source: Henrich et al. (2005: 801)

slide8

Noteworthy:

  • High variation in ultimatum game offers.
  • Many ultimatum game offers less generous than in industrialized societies.
  • Much variation in game results can be explained by society-level variables: especially market integration.
slide9

Relationship between Ultimatum game offer and market integration:

Fifteen societies in Henrich et al.

Source: Henrich et al. (2005: 809)

two possible reasons for variation in ug results over ethnographic cases
Two possible reasons for variation in UG results over ethnographic cases.
  • Games cued specific shared norms. Clearly happened in some cases:
    • Au and Gnau: proposers made generous offers which responders rejected. (norm: status seekers give gifts that impose obligations)
    • Lamalera: proposers made generous offers. (norm: defined protocol for dividing whale meat after hunt)
  • Generalized prosocial dispositions—members of some societies are “nicer” on average than others.
theoretical reasons for markets to encourage generalized prosocial dispostions
Theoretical reasons for markets to encourage generalized prosocial dispostions
  • Adam Smith: merchants need to have a good reputation to stay in business. The more commercialized a society, the higher its standards of “probity and punctuality.”
  • Evolutionary game theory: “indirect reciprocity” leads to direct benefits through reputation effects (cooperation partners easier to find).

Test with model:

prosocial dispositions=fn(markets; control variables)

standard cross cultural sample
Standard Cross-Cultural Sample
  • World divided up into “culture regions,” one well-documented society picked from each of these, for total of 186 societies.
  • Over 2,000 variables gradually added.
  • Full range of human societies, so that any statement that claims to hold universally for humans can be tested.
dependent variables
Dependent variables
  • Three dependent variables: degree to which society inculcates trust, honesty, generosity in children.
independent variables selected
Independent variables selected
  • Three types of “sociality”: Nepotism, Reciprocity, Coercion (van den Berghe 1981). Prosocial behavior is most valuable for reciprocity, and therefore most likely to be encouraged in societies emphasizing reciprocity.
  • Seven independent variables related to reciprocity:
    • Three market-related variables: extent of internal markets; external markets; presence of true money.
    • Two dummy variables for presence of inheritance rights in property: movable property and real property.
    • Two variables for cooperative activity: sharing of food; communal use of land.
  • Twelve control variables.
two econometric problems in sccs data
Two econometric problems in SCCS data
  • Galton’s problem
  • Missing data
galton s problem
Galton’s problem

Observations not independent.

  • Common descent (language phylogeny)
  • Cultural borrowing (geographic distance)

In regression context, Galton’s problem will cause biased coefficients and biased standard errors.

galton s problem example
Galton’s problem example:

Hypothesis: Religious specialists who drink alcohol have fewer wives.

alcohol wives

Ecuador 1 0

Iran 0 2

Ireland 1 0

Morocco 0 3

Spain 1 0

Yemen 0 4

Pearson correlation= -0.9332565, p-value=0.0065

An observed correlation between a pair of cultural traits across cultures could be due to the borrowing of the traits, as a package, from a common source (“horizontal transmission”), or could be due to their transmission, as a package, from a common ancestor (“vertical transmission”), or could be due to a true functional relationship.

missing data
Missing Data

Societymarkinmarkoutmoneycommlandsharefood

NamaHottentot NA NA 1 NA NA

Kung Bushmen 1 4 1 3 6

Thonga 4 4 3 3 6

Lozi 3 3 1 3 NA

Mbundu NA NA 4 NA NA

Suku 2 2 4 2 2

Two solutions:

Listwise deletion

Multiple imputation

listwise deletion
Listwise deletion

Societymarkinmarkoutmoneycommlandsharefood

NamaHottentot NA NA1 NA NA

Kung Bushmen 1 4 1 3 6

Thonga 4 4 3 3 6

Lozi3313 NA

Mbundu NA NA4 NA NA

Suku 2 2 4 2 2

  • Lose three observations. Lose all of the information in the cells marked in red.
  • Of 186 societies, 156 would have been dropped using listwise deletion. No longer testing against the full range of human societies  sample selection bias. Losing the big advantage of the SCCS.
multiple imputation
Multiple imputation

Replace missing values with imputed values, drawn from conditional distribution. Create several (5 to 10) new data sets with imputed values.

Societymarkinmarkoutmoneycommlandsharefood

NamaHottentot341 23

Kung Bushmen 1 4 1 3 6

Thonga 4 4 3 3 6

Lozi 3 3 1 3 6

Mbundu454 31

Suku 2 2 4 2 2

Societymarkinmarkoutmoneycommlandsharefood

  • NamaHottentot23 1 12

Kung Bushmen 1 4 1 3 6

Thonga 4 4 3 3 6

  • Lozi 3 3 1 3 4
  • Mbundu35 4 53

Suku 2 2 4 2 2

Societymarkinmarkoutmoneycommlandsharefood

  • NamaHottentot35 1 23

Kung Bushmen 1 4 1 3 6

Thonga 4 4 3 3 6

  • Lozi 3 3 1 3 5
  • Mbundu26 4 42

Suku 2 2 4 2 2

multiple imputation1
Multiple Imputation
  • Developed methods for combining estimates from multiple imputed data sets into single estimate: Rubin, Donald B. (1987). Multiple Imputation for Nonresponse in Surveys. New York: J. Wiley & Sons.
  • Developed most popular methods for producing multiple imputed data sets: Schafer, Joseph L. (1997). Analysis of Incomplete Multivariate Data. London: Chapman & Hall.
  • Intuitive justification for using multiple imputation:King, Gary, James Honaker, Anne Joseph, and Kenneth Scheve. (2001). “Analyzing Incomplete Political Science Data: An Alternative Algorithm for Multiple Imputation.” American Political Science Review 95(1): 49-69.
results i
Results I
  • Four models. All pass usual diagnostics.
    • Generosity as dependent variable
    • Honesty as dependent variable
    • Trust as dependent variable
    • Trust as dependent variable, with instruments for honesty and generosity as independent variables
  • Imputed data sets sufficiently different that hard to find set of independent variables fitting well to all.
  • Anomalous result: even though F-test rejects dropping additional variables, many have high p-values (though no multicollinearity)
  • Only trust has spatial effects, and then only for distance.
slide31

Signs of coefficients for reciprocity-related independent variables: unrestricted model (sign of restricted model in parentheses, when significant).

results ii
Results II
  • Market-related variables do not have the expected effects (2:1 diminish effort to inculcate prosocial behavior).
  • Rules for assignment of property rights through inheritance diminish prosocial behavior.
  • Sharing food encourages inculcation of generosity.
interpretation
Interpretation
  • Initial expectation: Markets encourage inculcation of generalized prosocial behavior.
  • Finding: Markets do not encourage inculcation of generalized prosocial behavior.
  • Conclusion: UG results may have more to do with cuing of specific shared norms than they do with generalized prosocial dispositions.
  • But? How can cuing of specific shared norms be systematically associated with market integration?
hypothesis
Hypothesis
  • Capitalism erodes shared norms (Simmel). Capitalist societies are pluralistic, strangers can’t assume share same norms (Hayek).
  • Shared norms make exchanges more predictable, generate trust. Lack of norms makes exchanges less predictable; proposers in games might make higher offers to compensate for risk (lack of predictability).
  • Suggestive evidence from study by Lesorogol (2007).
hypothesis continued
Hypothesis (continued)
  • Specific shared norms cued in UG offers. Shared norms different in each society, hence expect wide variation in offers across societies (which we see).
  • Markets weaken shared norms, creating uncertainty, causing UG offers to rise in societies with more market integration (which we also see).
  • No systematic association between market integration and generalized prosocial dispositions (shown in our models using the SCCS).