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The Clan and the City: Sustaining Cooperation in China and Europe

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  • Avner Greif
  • Guido Tabellini

Abstract

Over the last millennium, the clan and the city have been the locus of cooperation in China and Europe respectively. This paper examines - analytically, historically,and empirically - the cultural, social, and institutional co-evolution that led to this bifurcation. We highlight that groups with which individuals identify are basic units of cooperation. Such groups impact institutional development because intra-group moral commitment reduces enforcement cost implying a comparative advantage in pursuing collective actions. Moral groups perpetuate due to positive feedbacks between morality, institutions, and the implied pattern of cooperation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 445.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:445

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  1. Rosenthal, Jean-Laurent & Wong, R. Bin, 2011. "Before and Beyond Divergence: The Politics of Economic Change in China and Europe," Economics Books, Harvard University Press, number 9780674057913.
  2. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
  3. Börner, Lars & Quint, Daniel, 2010. "Medieval matching markets," Discussion Papers 2010/31, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  4. Gilles Duranton & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Richard Sandall, 2007. "Family Types and the Persistence of Regional Disparities in Europe," Bruges European Economic Research Papers 10, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.
  5. Li, Hongbin & Meng, Lingsheng & Wang, Qian & Zhou, Li-An, 2008. "Political connections, financing and firm performance: Evidence from Chinese private firms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 283-299, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Alesina, Alberto F & Giuliano, Paola, 2013. "Family Ties," CEPR Discussion Papers 9483, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Graziella Bertocchi & Monica Bozzano, 2013. "Family Structure and the Education Gender Gap: Evidence from Italian Provinces," CESifo Working Paper Series 4460, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Hoff, Karla & Pandey, Priyanka, 2014. "Making up people—The effect of identity on performance in a modernizing society," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 118-131.

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