Insiders, outsiders, and the adaptability of informal rules to ecological shocks
The history of the world is strewn with the remains of societies whose institutions failed to adapt to ecological change, but the determinants of institutional fragility are difficult to identify in the historical record. We report a laboratory experiment exploring the impact of an exogenous ecological shock on the informal rules of property and exchange. We find that geographically-induced tribal sentiments, which are unobservable in the historical record, impede adaptation post shock and that inequality declines as wealth and sociableness increase. Quantitative measures of individual and group sociality account for some of the differences in successful or failed adaptation.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bart J. Wilson & Taylor Jaworski & Karl E. Schurter & Andrew Smyth, 2012.
"The Ecological and Civil Mainsprings of Property: An Experimental Economic History of Whalers' Rules of Capture,"
Journal of Law, Economics and Organization,
Oxford University Press, vol. 28(4), pages 617-656, October.
- Bart J. Wilson & Taylor Jaworski & Karl Schurter & Andrew Smyth, 2010. "The Ecological and Civil Mainsprings of Property: An Experimental Economic History of Whalers’ Rules of Capture," Working Papers 10-12, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
- Todd L. Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason F. Shogren, 2002.
"Hardnose the Dictator,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1218-1221, September.
- Taylor Jaworski & Bart J. Wilson, 2013.
"Go West Young Man: Self-Selection and Endogenous Property Rights,"
Southern Economic Journal,
Southern Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 886-904, April.
- Taylor Jaworski & Bart J. Wilson, 2009. "Go West Young Man: Self-selection and Endogenous Property Rights," Working Papers 09-02, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
- Olivier Bochet & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2005.
"Communication and Punishment in Voluntary Contribution Experiments,"
2005-09, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Bochet, Olivier & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Communication and punishment in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 11-26, May.
- Oliver Bochet & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2002. "Communication and Punishment in Voluntary Contribution Experiments," Working Papers 2002-29, Brown University, Department of Economics.
- Erik O. Kimbrough & Bart J. Wilson, 2011. "Geography and Social Networks in Nascent Distal Exchange," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 167(3), pages 409-433, September.
- Sean Crockett & Vernon Smith & Bart Wilson, 2006.
"Exchange and Specialization as a Discovery Process,"
1002, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, revised May 2006.
- Sean Crockett & VernonL. Smith & BartJ. Wilson, 2009. "Exchange and Specialisation as a Discovery Process," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(539), pages 1162-1188, 07.
- Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
- Kimbrough, Erik O. & Smith, Vernon L. & Wilson, Bart J., 2010. "Exchange, theft, and the social formation of property," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 206-229, June.
- Roy Chen & Yan Chen, 2011. "The Potential of Social Identity for Equilibrium Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2562-89, October.
- Erik O. Kimbrough & Vernon L. Smith & Bart J. Wilson, 2008.
"Historical Property Rights, Sociality, and the Emergence of Impersonal Exchange in Long-Distance Trade,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1009-39, June.
- Erik Kimbrough & Vernon Smith & Bart Wilson, 2006. "Historical Property Rights, Sociality, and the Emergence of Impersonal Exchange in Long-distance Trade," Working Papers 1003, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, revised Oct 2006.
- Ellickson, Robert C, 1989. "A Hypothesis of Wealth-Maximizing Norms: Evidence from the Whaling Industry," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(1), pages 83-97, Spring.
- Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-57, March.
- Matthew J. Baker, 2003. "An Equilibrium Conflict Model of Land Tenure in Hunter-Gatherer Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 124-173, February.
- Crawford, Vincent, 1998. "A Survey of Experiments on Communication via Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 286-298, February.
- Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-60, June.
- Clay, Karen & Wright, Gavin, 2005. "Order without law? Property rights during the California gold rush," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 155-183, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:90:y:2013:i:c:p:29-40. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.