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Son to Father Reciprocity and Encephalization in Early Humans

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  • John M. Hartwick

    ()
    (Queen's University)

Abstract

Humans exhibit much more sharing of food harvested by prime-age hunter-gatherers with dependents relative to such sharing by lower-order primates. We investigate this behavior in a model in which a father provides generously to his dependent child-son in period t in the hope that this gesture will inspire his son to reciprocate in the next period when the father is in "retirement". In our formulation fathers provide better when (a) they are smarter hunters (b) they have a higher probability of living to experience a "retirement" and (c) when they are more con�dent that their child-sons will indeed provide generously for them in their "retirement". Better food provision by prime-age fathers is associated with brain-size expansion in our model.

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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1223.pdf
File Function: First version 2009
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1223.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1223

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Keywords: reciprocity; encephalization; intertemporal division of labor;

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  1. John Hartwick, 2007. "Encephalization and Division of Labor by Early Humans," Working Papers 1161, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Arthur J. Robson & Hillard S. Kaplan, 2003. "The Evolution of Human Life Expectancy and Intelligence in Hunter-Gatherer Economies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 150-169, March.
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