On the feasibility of power and status ranking in traditional setups
AbstractThis paper aims at a better understanding of the conditions under which unequal rank or power positions may get permanently established through asymmetric gift exchange when a gift brings pride to the donor and shame to the recipient. Such a framework matches numerous observations reported in the sociological and anthropological literature dealing with patronage relations in traditional setups. A central result derived from our model is that an asymmetric gift exchange equilibrium can occur only if the importance attached to social shame by a recipient is smaller than that attached to social esteem by a donor. Moreover, if this (necessary) condition is fulfilled, an asymmetric gift exchange will take place only if the recipient's productivity is neither too high nor too low. Finally, the possibility of a parasitic response of the gift recipient is more likely to be observed when the donee's sensitivity to social shame is low, or when his productivity is high.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.
Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864
Social esteem Status Power Patronage Gift exchange;
Other versions of this item:
- Petros Sekeris & Jean-Philippe Platteau, 2010. "On the Feasibility of Power and Status Ranking in Traditional Setups," Post-Print halshs-00122421, HAL.
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