[Paleopsych] Larry Samuelson: Foundations of Human Sociality: A Review Essay
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Larry Samuelson: Foundations of Human Sociality: A Review Essay
Journal of Economic Literature
Vol. XLIII (June 2005), pp. 488497
The scientists and engineers at the University of Wisconsin have periodic open
houses. Thousands of visitors "ooh" and "aah" at the gleaming
equipment--nuclear reactors, particle accelerators, electron microscopes, wind
tunnels--and sophisticated experiments--cloning, fusion reactions, artificial
hearts, and so on. It is no wonder that people walk away anxious to give money.
Economists could surely benefit from putting on a similar display, but what
would we show?
Foundations of Human Sociality: Economic Experiments and Ethnographic Evidence
from Fifteen Small-Scale Societies provides one answer. 1 It reports on a
research program involving coordinated experiments in fifteen societies
scattered around the world. This is a project as sophisticated as anything the
scientists can produce. The fifteen societies are described in the title as
"small-scale," but this is an
* Samuelson: University of Wisconsin. I thank the National Science Foundation
(SES-0241506) and Russell Sage Foundation (82-02-04) for financial support.
1Foundations of Human Sociality: Economic Experiments and Ethnographic Evidence
from Fifteen Small-Scale Societies. Edited by Joseph Henrich, Robert Boyd,
Samuel Bowles, Colin Camerer, Ernst Fehr, and Herbert Gintis. Oxford University
understatement. They are remote, they speak a variety of uncommon languages,
and they live in circumstances that make even basic data collection difficult.
They fit the stereotype of societies that would be studied by anthropologists,
and the editors are joined in the project by a team of (primarily)
Three questions lie behind this book. First, experimental economists have
amassed a wealth of data in recent years, featuring considerable consensus in
some respects. The bulk of the subjects in these data are university students,
often American university students. Could the relatively consistent data be an
artifact of a homogeneous subject pool, with a world of unexplored variety
lurking beyond? Second, a growing number of economists have explored models in
which people are concerned with more than simply their own material well-being.
How might we model such "social" preferences, and how might we use experimental
data to bring some discipline to what otherwise looks like a game with no
rules? Finally, having designed such a research program, what do the data have
Reflecting these questions, the book splits into two parts. One of these is
chapter 3, written by Colin Camerer and Ernst Fehr. This chapter lays out a
program for the experimental investigation of social preferences, centered
around a series of games that allows one to evaluate and refine hypotheses
about preferences and their induced behavior. The second part, comprising the
bulk of the book, includes chapter 2, written by the six coeditors and Richard
McElreath, and chapters 414. The latter report the field work done with the
fifteen small-scale societies, emphasizing the economic experiments. Chapter 2
ties the field work together with a description of the common elements as well
as the inevitable differences.
2. Social Preferences: A Research Program
It will help organize the subsequent discussion to begin with the research
program for studying social preferences outlined in chapter 3. Some terms will
be helpful. Let us say that an agents preferences are personal if they depend
only on the amount of money the agent receives.2 If not, then they are social.
An agents social preferences can in turn be substantive, in which case they
depend only upon the final allocation of (perhaps everyones) monetary payoffs,
or can be procedural, in which case they also depend upon aspects of the
process by which these payoffs were determined.3
The book offers a useful example of substantive social preferences, taken from
Fehr and Klaus M. Schmidt (1999) (see Gary E.
2 More generally, an agents preferences are personal if they depend only upon
the agents own consumption, but it suffices here to consider preferences over
amounts of money.
3 The authors refer to procedural preferences as "reciprocal" preferences,
carrying the connotation that agent is attitude toward payoffs may depend upon
choices j has made, so that is behavior may reciprocate j's. This term fits
well, but I prefer an alternative because reciprocal is used in the literature
with a variety of different meanings. For example, the chapter in question
refers to players "reciprocating cooperation" and "reciprocating defection" in
the prisoners' dilemma, while explaining how the substantive preferences given
by (1) (below) can explain such behavior, thus using the word in its common
form in a setting where its technical meaning is inappropriate.
Bolton and Axel Ockenfels 2000 for a similar model). The utility ui(pi,pj)
derived by player i from i's monetary payoff pi and j's monetary payoff pj is
.p ap ( -p if p=p (1) i (i, j )..i - ij i ) ij upp = .p ßp p if p= -p .ii (i -
j ) ij
i =1. The special case
=0 gives personal preferences.
are positive, player i still likes high monetary payoffs, but now is also
averse to inequality, being especially unhappy with inequality in which she
receives the short end of the stick.
Chapter 3 notes that either substantive or procedural preferences are
consistent with behavior observed in the experiments discussed in the chapter.
However, the authors suggest that procedural preferences provide better
descriptions of behavior in other experiments.4 In light of these remarks, it
would have been helpful for the chapter to present an example of procedural
preferences analogous to (1), and to have the experimental results discussed in
this chapter explained in terms of this model.5
The research described in this chapter is centered around a series of five
games that have played prominent roles in the experimental literature:6
The prisoners' dilemma. The point of departure is the prisoners' dilemma.7
4 For example, they refer (p. 83) to an "increasing number of experiments that
compare predictions of competing theories," providing "clear evidence for
reciprocity beyond inequality aversion . . . "
5 The chapter refers the reader to Matthew Rabin (1993) as well as other
6 The authors include two additional games, a public goods game that gives rise
to incentives analogous to those of the prisoners' dilemma, and a gift exchange
game that gives rise to incentives analogous to those of the trust game.
7 An example of a prisoners' dilemma is:
2 CD C 1 D 2, 2 3, 1 1, 3 0, 0
The key characteristics are that defection (D) is a dominant strategy, while
mutual cooperation (C) yields a superior outcome.
Personal preferences yield an unambiguous prediction, namely that players
should invariably defect. Instead, laboratory experiments routinely find that
some agents defect but others cooperate.8 There are manipulations of the
experimental environment that make cooperation less frequent, but there is no
experimental treatment that reliably produces universal defection.
If we are to account for this behavior while retaining the organizing principle
of economics, namely that rational players make optimal choices guided by well-
defined and stable preferences, then we must admit the possibility of social
preferences: some people prefer to cooperate in the prisoners' dilemma. In
terms of (1), we thus have evidence that for at least some
> 0.9 For cooperation to be optimal, however, an individual must not only ,
but must also think the opponent is sufficiently likely , or are they simply
pessimistic about the prospects that their opponents will cooperate, while
standing ready to cooperate against sufficiently cooperative opponents?
The ultimatum game.
In response, attention turns to the ultimatum game.10 Personal preferences,
coupled with sub- game perfection, call for player 1 to offer player 2 nothing
(or at most the smallest possible positive amount) and for player 2 to accept.
Conditional on player 2 always accepting, player 1's choices should provide .
Larger values of correspond to larger offers to player 2.
8 See John O. Ledyard 1995 for a survey.
> 0 is necessary for C to be preferred to D. The interpretation is that such
an agent prefers the more equal (but personally less lucrative) outcome of
mutual cooperation to the more asymmetric payoffs produced by defecting against
10 Player 1 proposes a division of a sum of money to player 2, who either
accepts the division, in which case it is implemented, or rejects it, in which
case both receive nothing.
In experiments, player 1 often offers a substantial portion of the money to
player 2, while player 2 often rejects smaller offers.11 The latter behavior
provides evidence that > 0 for some players, so that an equal outcome of no
money for both is preferred to receiving a relatively small amount of money.
However, this player-2 behavior obscures the lessons concerning player 1's .
Does player 1 offer money to player 2 because 1 prefers not to have too
unequally large a share, or because player 2 rejects small offers?
The dictator game.
To answer this question, the authors direct attention to the dictator game.12
Personal preferences call for player 1 to retain all of the money. However,
player 1 typically offers some money to player 2, but less than in the
ultimatum game (Roth 1995). The positive offers again provide evidence for
positive , but the comparison suggests that 1's behavior in the ultimatum game
is a mixture of concerns for player 2's payoff and concerns about being
The trust game.
Attention next turns to the trust game.13 Personal preferences, again coupled
with subgame perfection, call for player1 to retain everything, sacrificing the
efficiency gains of making a contribution to player 2. Experimental findings,
with significant variation, are that player1 typically contributes about
halfof1'sendowmentto2, who returns a sum leaving player 1 slightly worse off
than if1had contributed nothing.
Given that player 1's behavior reflects a mixture of preferences and
expectations about 2's behavior, as in the ultimatum game, the clearest
implications for preferences
11 See Werner Güth, Rolf Schmittberger, and Bernd Schwarze (1982) for the
initial study and Alvin E. Roth (1995) for a survey.
12 Player 1 divides a sum of money between player 1 and 2.
13 Player 1 and 2 each receive an endowment of S. Player 1 first decides how
much of S to give to player 2, retaining the rest. The money given to player 2
is tripled, at which point player 2 decides how much money to return to player
14 The preferences given by (1) are linear in payoffs, as is the feasible set
facing player 2. Taken literally, (1) then implies that player 2 should
(generically) either return none of the money or equalize payoffs, but
generalizations give interior solutions. come from player 2's behavior. The
fact that player 2 returns anything at all provides > 0. However, the data pose
puzzles for both substantive and procedural preferences. Player 2 fills the
position of a dictator, with the amount to be divided depending upon player 1's
first move. In this dictator portion of the trust game, the final payoff
typically allocated to player 1 does not increase as the amount to be divided
increases. One might have expected preferences such as those captured by (1) to
call for the player 1's payoff to increase.14 Perhaps the answer is that
procedural considerations are important here. The second move in a trust game
is not a de novo dictator game, but a game that follows a choice on the part of
player 1 that affects player 2's preferences. The difficulty here is that as
player 1 contributes more, and hence acts so as to enhance the welfare of
player 2, player 2 "reciprocates" with actions that decrease player 1's
relative payoff, leaving player 1 no better off and appearing to put increasing
emphasis on player 2's payoffs. This is an unusual brand of reciprocity.
The trust game illustrates how subtle the match between experimental results
and simple economic models can be. In light of this, a more detailed discussion
would have been helpful, including a demonstration of how the substantive model
given by (1) and an analogous procedural model might match behavior.
People may have social preferences, but are the departures from personal
preferences large enough to have real effects on behavior? The point behind the
punishment games described briefly in this chapter is that seemingly small
effects in preferences can be leveraged into large effects in behavior. Suppose
that there is an accepted standard of behavior, and that people have the
opportunity to sanction those who stray from this standard. These sanctions may
have a large cumulative effect on their target while imposing relatively small
costs on those doing the sanctioning. Experiments show that people will impose
such sanctions, even against those whose actions have no direct payoff
consequences for the sanctioner, and that the sanctions can have significant
effects on behavior (Fehr and Urs Fischbacher 2004, Fehr and Simon Gächter
2000, 2000, 2002).
3. The Experiments
Chapter 3 offers a template for the study of social preferences. The second and
larger part of the book pursues this program, reporting on experiments with
fifteen groups of people. The following table identifies the groups with whom
the experiments were done, their location, and the researchers who did the
experiments and wrote the relevant chapters. Every study involved the ultimatum
game. In some cases, experiments with one or more of the public-goods game, the
trust game, or the dictator game were also performed. The most striking aspect
of the experimental work is the chance to compare ultimatum-game behavior
across a wide range of settings, and I'll concentrate on the ultimatum game.
The authors organize their results around five themes.
Variability. The behavior observed in the fifteen societies exhibits more
variation than found in the familiar experimental literature based on
university students. Mean offers in ultimatum-game experiments with university
students tend to lie between 40 and 50 percent. Among the fifteen societies
studied here, the means range from 25 to 57 percent. Most existing experiments
have produced modes at 50 percent, while modal offers here range from 15 to 50.
Rejection behavior is similarly varied. Four groups (Kazakhs, Ache, Quichua,
Chapter Group Country Researcher
4 Achuar Ecuador John Q. Patton
4 Quichua Ecuador John Q. Patton
5 Machiguenga Peru Joseph Henrich and Natalie Smith
5 Mapuche/Huinca Chile Joseph Henrich and Natalie Smith
6 Hadza Tanzania Frank Marlowe
7 Tsimane' Bolivia Michael Gurven
8 Au Papua New Guinea David P. Tracer
8 Gnau Papua New Guinea David P. Tracer
9 Kazakhs Mongolia Franciso J. Gil-White
9 Torguuds Mongolia Franciso J. Gil-White
10 Shona Zimbabwe Abigail Barr
11 Sangu Tanzania Richard McElreath
12 Orma Kenya Jean Ensminger
13 Ache Paraguay Kim Hill and Michael Gurven
14 Lamalera Indonesia Michael S. Alvard
Tsimane') rejected no offers (with sample sizes from 10 to 70), even though in
two of these cases about half of the offers were for less than 30 percent of
the surplus. Another group (Machiguenga) rejected only one offer (out of 21),
though 75 percent of the offers were for less than 30 percent of the surplus.
Two of the groups (Au and Gnau) often rejected offers of more than fifty
percent, and appeared to be just as likely to reject high as low offers. In
other groups, rejections were relatively frequent, especially of low offers.
Preferences. The prediction of subgame perfection with personal preferences,
that the proposer offers virtually nothing and the responder accepts, does not
provide a good match for the data. As one might expect, given the variability
in behavior, there are aspects of the data that appear to be both closer to and
further from this benchmark than the bulk of the existing literature.
Intergroup differences. The authors construct measures of two characteristics
for each group. A group is deemed to have higher potential gains from
cooperation if productive activities in the group are more likely to require
interaction with nonrelatives. A group is deemed to have higher aggregate
market integration the more often its people engage in market exchange, the
larger its settlements, and the more complex its political structure. A
regression suggests that mean ultimatum-game offers are higher for those groups
exhibiting a higher potential benefit from cooperation and higher aggregate
These results nicely exploit the strength of the research design and data,
namely the variability in groups and behavior. At this point, it would be
helpful to have more attention devoted to how one might interpret the link
between aggregate market integration and ultimatum-game behavior. If asked for
the direction of this link before seeing this book, I'm not sure which I would
have predicted. I can imagine market
15 A standard deviation increase in either variable gives about half a standard
deviation increase in mean offer.
integration making people more likely to treat others "fairly" or more likely
to induce them to drive and sometimes accept hard bargains.16 Some additional
scrutiny and perhaps modeling would be helpful in interpreting the correlation.
Intragroup differences. A variety of individual characteristics, such as sex,
age, wealth, education, market participation, and others, showed little
relationship to behavior in the experiments.
Everyday life. The authors note that one can find parallels between the
behavior of various groups in the experiments and their everyday life. For
example, foragers who routinely share the meat they catch (the Ache), to the
point that a successful hunter often takes none of the catch, sometimes
declining even the credit for making the catch by leaving it outside the
village to be found anonymously, made quite generous offers in the ultimatum
game and generated no rejections. Foragers who appear to share only under
duress (the Hadza), often attempting to sneak their catch into camp unseen,
made smaller offers that often generated rejections.
The links between everyday and experimental behavior are especially intriguing.
First, they suggest a view of preferences as being shaped by one's culture and
way of life, a suggestion that runs throughout the book.17 Among the clearer
examples, John Patton (pp. 12122) suggests that the Achuar tend to be involved
in more stable interactions in their daily lives than do the Quichua, which may
be reflected in different perceptions of what behavior is fair or acceptable,
and hence different behavior in the ultimatum game. Richard McElreath (pp.
35051) offers a similar explanation for
16 Jean Ensminger's contribution (pp. 356357) provides a brief discussion of
ideas suggesting that market participation may either enhance or attenuate
tendencies to be fair.
17 Henrich (2004) presents a model in which cultural evolutional shapes social
behavioral differences between Sangu herders and farmers. Michael Gurven (p.
227) closes his discussion with a call for further investigation of such
cultural foundations of social preferences.
At the same time, this link raises issues in interpreting the experimental
results. For example, the Orma are said (pp. 3841) to have readily recognized
the public goods game as a "harambee" game, referring to the contributions they
make when constructing public goods such as roads or schools. However, the
harambee itself appears to be best modeled as a repeated relationship, unlike
the one-shot nature of the experiment. If subjects responded to the experiment
with behavior appropriate for the repeated environment of the harambee, then
their behavior may tell us little about their preferences. We return to this
issue in the following section.
The experiments provide a wealth of material for those interested in studying
experimental methods. How does one attempt standardized experiments when
dealing with twelve researchers in fifteen societies spread across the globe in
challenging settings? As the authors note, a variety of compromises had to be
made. Some actual ultimatum-game offers were supplemented with sham offers to
generate more variation. Some sample sizes were small. The game was typically
presented in the abstract, but sometimes with the help of analogies to concrete
situations. Subjects were typically paid in money,but not always. How does one
control the variation inevitable in oral presentations? How does one ensure
that the various settings have not introduced framing effects that swamp other
considerations? How does one work, not only without the sophisticated computer
interfaces typical of experimental laboratories, but with subjects who may not
be able to do even simple arithmetic?
The authors are aware of these difficulties. I think it a sensible response to
note that if one waited for perfect procedures and perfect answers to all of
these questions, no study of this type would ever get off the ground. It is
clear from the recurring discussions of method in the book that the authors
worked hard in quest of the best experimental practice they could achieve, and
worked hard to control and standardize their procedures. This is as much as one
The book provides clear answers, sketched in the previous two sections, to the
first two motivating questions raised in section 1. There are ways to
systematically use experiments in investigating social preferences. There is
more variety in behavior than previous experiments might lead us to believe.
The third question is more challenging. What do the results tell us about the
nature of people's social preferences? Using (1) to organize the discussion,
what do the ? In particular, do the experimental observations imply that we
should rethink our economic models, in which personal preferences currently
play a prominent role, to allow more room for social preferences?
The answer appears to be yes, if the games played by the subjects are a good
match for the ultimatum game that appears in our theoretical models. This
qualification, however, is important. A key feature of the ultimatum game is
that it involves anonymous opponents with no future interaction. If the
participants are concerned with the implications of current play for future
behavior, perhaps in the form of an effect of current play on their reputation,
then the simple link between behavior in the ultimatum game and preferences is
How might such a concern with the future or a feeling of nonanonymity arise?
The subjects in the experiments reported here are typically drawn from small
societies, with whom they know they will have subsequent interactions, often
while living with virtually no privacy. Despite the best attempts of the
experimenter to make experimental play
18 Notice that this possibility differs from a maladaption account, in which
evolution is said to have neglected to equip us even with an understanding of
one-shot interactions (because we purportedly evolved in an environment in
which the norm was repeated interactions with small groups of primarily
relatives). Fehr and Henrich (2003) and Henrich (2004) argue that such
maladaption does not provide an adequate model of social preferences. Instead,
we are considering here the possibility that subjects may understand the
implications of one-shot interactions, but not view the experiments as such
anonymous, the subjects may have perceived, perhaps correctly, that their
current play would have future repercussions.18 This possibility is raised
several times in the book. Gurven (p. 221) suggests that rejections in the
ultimatum game may have been relatively rare because subjects viewed rejection
as giving rise to costs or punishments in subsequent interactions. Ensminger
(p. 358) notes that anonymity may be impossible to achieve in small-scale
societies. Hill and Gurven suggest (p. 403) that their subjects live in a
sufficiently small community that aggressive behavior in the game could be
deterred by the attendant negative impact on subsequent community relations,
and note (pp. 406-07) that subjects appeared to treat the public goods games as
part of an iterated sequence of social interactions.
These difficulties are exacerbated by the challenges of getting the
experimental subjects to understand the abstract experimental environment.
Patton (p. 105) indicates that the experiment was described to the potential
subjects as a minga, or cooperative labor exchange. This may have helped in
many respects, but a minga entails future obligations (p. 101), potentially
introducing the ideas of repetition or lack of anonymity into subjects' views
of the experiment. As we have noted, Ensminger (p. 376) reports that her
subjects immediately recognized the public goods game as a harambee, a
village-level pubic goods contribution process that again potentially
introduces elements of repetition or the lack of anonymity. It does not appear
as if one can explain all of the data by simply muttering "they acted
Samuelson: Foundations of Human Sociality: A Review Essay 495 19 Ensminger
follows her comment with the observation that something more appears to be at
work. Hill and Gurven note that the shadow of the future was most pronounced in
a version of the public goods game in which contributions were made publicly,
an indication that subjects understand that the future is sometimes more
important than others. as if the game was repeated."19 However, as various of
the authors' comments indicate, the possibility that such considerations played
a role in shaping play is heightened by the nature of the subject populations,
and makes it difficult to identify the games and the forces that shaped the
subjects' behavior. This in turn makes it difficult to draw inferences from the
observed behavior. Why is this a problem? Everyone recognizes that people
sometimes do things-- make anonymous contributions, render aid to strangers,
chastise transgressors--that are most readily modeled with social preferences.
Differences of opinion arise in assessing the importance of social preferences
in explaining economic behavior, and it is here that experiments can be
especially valuable. But if the behavior in the experiments depends importantly
on features beyond the experimental design, then conclusions concerning the
nature and importance of social preferences are difficult to draw. This
difficulty becomes more pronounced if we consider procedural preferences rather
than the substantive preferences of (1). Not only are outcomes now important,
but so is the process by which these outcomes are achieved. In addition, we
cannot expect the experiment to control all of the details of this process. For
example, Gurven (p. 226) notes that preferences for how resources are to be
allocated may depend importantly on how the resources are made
available--whether as the result of a windfall, for example, or as a result of
having been earned. How do the experimental subjects perceive the surplus, and
what effect does it have on their behavior? Preferences now depend upon the
game and the context in which the game is played. The experiment can control
the former, but we can expect much of the latter to be supplied by the
subjects. A recurring theme throughout this book is that behavior in the
experiments reflects the subjects' behavior in their everyday lives, as one
would hope if the experiments are to tell us about the preferences that guide
the subjects' lives. However, running along with this is the theme that the
experimental behavior may be borrowed from a variety of real-life situations,
not all of them an appropriate match for the setting one typically hopes to
capture with the ultimatum game. Henrich and Smith (p. 164) suggest that
behavior in the ultimatum game depends upon which of a diverse set of
behavioral rules is triggered by the experimental implementation. McElreath (p.
344) suggests that different players may map the ultimatum game into different
social experiences and hence effectively play different games. Patton (p. 98)
suggests that ultimatum-game behavior reflects a logic of reciprocal fairness
that is not well suited for the ultimatum game, but also not easily overruled
by a conscious understanding of the game. Tracer (p. 255) suggests that his
players "inescapably brought the understandings, beliefs, expectations, and
values that they apply to daily life into the experiment," including a belief
that current actions would incur future obligations. Hill and Gurven (p. 403)
offer a similar interpretation. Gurven (p. 226) notes that people can be more
or less likely to cooperate depending upon the type of cooperation required--a
group may readily cooperate in hunting or fishing, but not in
conservation--making it difficult to make the link from experimental behavior
to any particular real-life behavior. We thus have two related obstacles
standing between the observed behavior and conclusions about social
preferences. First, the subjects may have viewed their behavior as having
future implications. If so, then subjects with personal preferences could
exhibit behavior that could only be rationalized by social preferences in a
literal implementation of the ultimatum game. Second, social preferences,
especially procedural social preferences, may call into play a variety of
factors beyond those captured by the ultimatum game model and the surrounding
experimental design. Distinguishing between personal and social preferences is
thus not straightforward.
These difficulties are not new. The existing experimental literature is full of
experiments that are interpreted by some as being consistent with social
preferences and others as reflecting personal preferences, with the differences
frequently revolving around the connection between the experimenter's model of
the strategic interaction and the subjects' model of the interaction. Indeed,
this diversity of interpretations and conclusions is reflected in miniature in
the studies in this volume.20 One can conclude that the experimental findings
in this volume are consistent witha modelin which social elements play an
important role in people's preferences and behavior, but also that they are
consistent with a model in which behavior is guided primarily by personal
Further work is required to distinguish these alternatives. Work that moves us
outside the traditional experimental economics laboratory, like the experiments
reported here, is likely to be especially useful. In this respect, perhaps the
most valuable part of this book is its analysis linking experimental play to
group characteristics such as the importance of cooperation and degree of
market integration. Once again, the results lend themselves to multiple
interpretations. It could be that cultural evolution has led different groups
to different configurations of social preferences that reflect differences in
their ways of life. It could also be that subjects from different groups
associate the experiment with different experiences from
20 As the editors note in their introduction to this volume (p. 7), they made
no attempt to force a party line on the studies.
their contrasting ways of life, prompting different behavior from personal
Comparative static studies of this kind are likely to hold the key to
separating the various hypotheses and getting a better idea of preferences.21 A
single study cannot be expected to resolve every question, even a study as
large as this one. But it has enriched the discussion and opened new directions
for research, directions that hold great promise and that one hopes become
This is a fascinating book to read on many levels. It provides a captivating
window into the world of anthropologists.22 It is impressive both in the goals
the authors are willing to set for an experimental study and in the lengths
they are willing to go in pursuit of these goals.
We have much to learn from these experiments, most notably that humans exhibit
a richer variety of behavior than many of us have imagined. The authors
indicate they are working on additional experiments that will allow them to
make use of what they have learned in this study and to fill in some more
pieces of the puzzle. Readers of this book will surely look forward to the
Bewley,TrumanF. 1999. Why Wages Don't Fall During a Recession. Cambridge:
Harvard University Press. Bolton, Gary E., and Axel Ockenfels. 2000. "ERC: A
Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition."
American Economic Review, 90(1): 166-93. Fehr, Ernst, and Urs Fischbacher.
2004. "Third Party
21Truman F. Bewley (1999) offers another promising direction for such work,
seeking evidence that considerations such as fairness and morale play a role in
workplace behavior, as does the growing body of work with field experiments
(cf. Glenn W. Harrison and John A. List 2004). It may be useful to pursue
experiments analogous to those of this book with larger societies in which
anonymity may be more readily obtained.
22 The introduction briefly mentions a dinner in which the anthropologists on
this project entertained the economists with stories of what the former had
eaten in the field. The book is less graphic, but no less interesting in
describing how work in economics and anthropology can be combined.
Punishment and Social Norms." Evolution and Human Behavior, 25(2): 63-87.
Fehr, Ernst, and Simon Gächter. 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public
Goods Experiments." American Economic Review, 90(4): 980-94. Fehr, Ernst, and
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Harrison, Glenn W., and John A. List. 2004. "Field Experiments," Mimeo.
University of Central Florida and University of Maryland.
Henrich, Joseph. 2004. "Cultural Group Selection, Coevolutionary Processes and
Large-Scale Cooperation." Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 53(1):
Ledyard, John O. "Public Goods: A Survey of Experimental Research," in Handbook
of Experimental Economics. John Kagel and Alvin E. Roth, eds. Princeton:
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Rabin, Matthew. 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics."
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Economics. John H. Kagel and Alvin E. Roth, eds. Princeton: Princeton
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