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2009-10-19 | EfD Discussion Paper

Social Background, Cooperative Behavior, and Norm Enforcement

Martinsson, Peter, Martine Visser and Martin Kocher. 2009. “Social Background, Cooperative Behavior, and Norm Enforcement.” EfD Discussion Paper 09.
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Studies have shown differences in cooperative behavior across countries and in the use of (and reaction to) a norm enforcement mechanism in cross-cultural studies.


The authors present data that prove that stark differences in both dimensions can exist even within the same town. They created a unique data set, based on one-shot public goods experiments in South Africa. Most of the group differences can be explained by variables for social capital and social environment, such as trust or household violence.