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Ode To The Sea: Workplace Organizations And Norms Of Cooperation

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  • Uri Gneezy
  • Andreas Leibbrandt
  • John A. List

Abstract

The functioning and well-being of any society and organization critically hinges on norms of cooperation that regulate social activities. Empirical evidence on how such norms emerge and in which environments they thrive remain a clear void in the literature. To provide an initial set of insights, we overlay a set of field experiments on a natural setting. Our approach is to compare behavior in Brazilian fishermen societies that differ only along one major dimension: the workplace organization. In one society (located by the sea) fishermen are forced to work in groups whereas in the adjacent society (located on a lake) fishing is inherently an individual activity. We report sharp evidence that the sea fishermen trust and cooperate more and have greater ability to coordinate group actions than their lake fishermen counterparts. These findings are consistent with the argument that people internalize social norms that emerge from specific needs and support the idea that socio-ecological factors play a decisive role in the proliferation of pro-social behaviors.

Suggested Citation

  • Uri Gneezy & Andreas Leibbrandt & John A. List, 2013. "Ode To The Sea: Workplace Organizations And Norms Of Cooperation," Monash Economics Working Papers 59-13, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2013-59
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    2. Meier, Stephan & Pierce, Lamar & Vaccaro, Antonino & La Cara, Barbara, 2016. "Trust and in-group favoritism in a culture of crime," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PA), pages 78-92.
    3. Shoji, Masahiro, 2020. "Early-Life Circumstances and Adult Locus of Control: Evidence from 46 Developing Countries," MPRA Paper 99987, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Masahiro Shoji, 2018. "Incentive for risk sharing and trust formation: experimental and survey evidence from Bangladesh," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 1062-1083.
    5. Kudo, Yuya, 2017. "Why Is the Practice of Levirate Marriage Disappearing in Africa? HIV/AIDS as an Agent of Institutional Change," IDE Discussion Papers 627, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    6. Grund, Christian & Harbring, Christine & Thommes, Kirsten, 2018. "Group (Re-) formation in public good games: The tale of the bad apple?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 306-319.
    7. Josse Delfgaauw & Robert Dur & Okemena Onemu & Joeri Sol, 2019. "Team Incentives, Social Cohesion, and Performance: A Natural Field Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 19-045/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    8. Jang, Chaning & Lynham, John, 2015. "Where do social preferences come from?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 25-28.
    9. Elisabeth Grewenig & Philipp Lergetporer & Katharina Werner, 2020. "Gender Norms and Labor-Supply Expectations: Experimental Evidence from Adolescents," CESifo Working Paper Series 8611, CESifo.
    10. Abatayo, Anna Lou & Lynham, John, 2020. "Risk preferences after a typhoon: An artefactual field experiment with fishers in the Philippines," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    11. Therese Lindahl & Anne-Sophie Crépin & Caroline Schill, 2016. "Potential Disasters can Turn the Tragedy into Success," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 65(3), pages 657-676, November.
    12. Balafoutas, Loukas & García-Gallego, Aurora & Georgantzis, Nikolaos & Jaber-Lopez, Tarek & Mitrokostas, Evangelos, 2020. "Rehabilitation and social behavior: Experiments in prison," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 148-171.
    13. Vincent Leyaro & Pablo Selaya & Neda Trifkovic, 2017. "Fishermen’s wives: On the cultural origins of violence against women," WIDER Working Paper Series 205, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    14. Zack Dorner & Daniel A. Brent & Anke Leroux, 2019. "Preferences for Intrinsically Risky Attributes," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 95(4), pages 494-514.
    15. Brent, Daniel A. & Friesen, Lana & Gangadharan, Lata & Leibbrandt, Andreas, 2017. "Behavioral Insights from Field Experiments in Environmental Economics," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 10(2), pages 95-143, May.
    16. Nese, Annamaria & O'Higgins, Niall & Sbriglia, Patrizia & Scudiero, Maurizio, 2018. "Cooperation, punishment and organized crime: a lab-in-the-field experiment in southern Italy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 86-98.
    17. Werner, Peter & Riedl, Arno, 2018. "The role of experiments for policy design," Research Memorandum 022, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    18. Nie, Zihan & Yang, Xiaojun & Tu, Qin, 2020. "Resource scarcity and cooperation: Evidence from a gravity irrigation system in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
    19. Lenel, Friederike & Steiner, Susan, 2020. "Formal insurance and solidarity. Experimental evidence from Cambodia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 174(C), pages 212-234.
    20. Daniela Di Cagno & Werner Güth & Marcello Puca & Patrizia Sbriglia, 2017. "Group Influence in Sharing Experiments," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 050, University of Siena.
    21. Vincent Leyaro & Pablo Selaya & Neda Trifkovi?, 2017. "Fishermen's wives: On the cultural origins of violence against women," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2017-205, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    22. Drupp, Moritz A. & Khadjavi, Menusch & Quaas, Martin F., 2016. "Truth-telling and the regulator: Evidence from a field experiment with commercial fishermen," Kiel Working Papers 2063, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    23. Kudo, Yuya, 2020. "Maintaining law and order: Welfare implications from village vigilante groups in northern Tanzania," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 607-628.
    24. Stefan Gehrig & Achim Schlüter & Peter Hammerstein, 2019. "Sociocultural heterogeneity in a common pool resource dilemma," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 14(1), pages 1-16, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    social norm; pro-sociality; field experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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