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Kinship, Fractionalization and Corruption

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Abstract

By shaping patterns of relatedness and interaction, marriage practices influence the relative returns to norms of nepotism/favoritism versus norms of impartial cooperation. In-marriage (e.g. consanguineous marriage) yields a relatively closed society of related individuals and thereby encourages favoritism and corruption. Out-marriage creates a relatively open society with increased interaction between non-relatives and strangers, thereby encouraging impartiality. We report a robust association between in-marriage practices and corruption across countries and across Italian provinces. A stylized corruption experiment comparing subjects from two countries with divergent marriage patterns provides complementary evidence that the degree of impartiality varies with marriage patterns.

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  • Mahsa Akbari & Duman Bahrami-Rad & Erik O. Kimbrough, 2017. "Kinship, Fractionalization and Corruption," Discussion Papers dp17-17, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  • Handle: RePEc:sfu:sfudps:dp17-17
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    Cited by:

    1. Jacob Moscona & Nathan Nunn & James A. Robinson, 2018. "Social Structure and Conflict: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," HiCN Working Papers 264, Households in Conflict Network.
    2. Jonathan F. Schulz, 2016. "The Churches’ Bans on Consanguineous Marriages, Kin-networks and Democracy," Discussion Papers 2016-16, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    3. Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn, 2018. "Ancestral Characteristics of Modern Populations," Economic History of Developing Regions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(1), pages 1-17, January.
    4. Nathan Nunn & Nancy Qian & Jaya Wen, 2018. "Distrust and Political Turnover," NBER Working Papers 24187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bau, Natalie, 2019. "Can Policy Change Culture? Government Pension Plans and Traditional Kinship Practices," CEPR Discussion Papers 13486, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Benjamin Enke, 2019. "Kinship, Cooperation, and the Evolution of Moral Systems," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(2), pages 953-1019.
    7. Benjamin Enke, 2018. "Kinship Systems, Cooperation, and the Evolution of Culture," CESifo Working Paper Series 6867, CESifo.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    corruption; fractionalization; institutions; mating patterns; consanguinity; experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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