IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wop/safiwp/00-03-017.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Optimal Parochialism: The Dynamics of Trust and Exclusion in Networks

Author

Listed:
  • Samuel Bowles
  • Herbert Gintis

Abstract

Networks such as ethnic credit associations, close-knit residential neighborhoods, "old boy' networks, and ethnically linked businesses play an important role in economic life but have been little studied by economists. These networks are often supported by cultural distinctions between insiders and outsiders and engage in exclusionary practices which we call parochialism. We provide an exonomic analysis of parochial networks in which the losses incurred by not trading with outsiders are offset by an enhanced ability to enforce informal contracts by fostering trust among insiders. We first model one-shot social interactions among self-regarding agents, demonstrating that trust (i.e., cooperating without using information about one's trading partner) is a best response in a mixed-strategy Nash equilibrium if the quality of information about one's partner is sufficiently high. We show that since larger networks have lower quality information about specific individuals and greater trading opportunities, there may be an optimal (payoff-maximizing) network size. We then model the growth and decline of networks, as well as their equilibrium size and number. We show that in the absence of parochialism, networks may not exist, and the appropriate level of parochialism may implement an optimal network size. Finally, we explore the welfare implications and reasons for the evolutionary success of exclusion on parochial and other grounds.

Suggested Citation

  • Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2000. "Optimal Parochialism: The Dynamics of Trust and Exclusion in Networks," Working Papers 00-03-017, Santa Fe Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:00-03-017
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Craig, Ben & Pencavel, John, 1992. "The Behavior of Worker Cooperatives: The Plywood Companies of the Pacific Northwest," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1083-1105, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Yannick Fondeur & Michèle Forté & Guillemette De Larquier & Sylvie Monchatre & Géraldine Rieucau & Marie Salognon & Ariel Sevilla & Carole Tuchszirer, 2012. "Pratiques de recrutement et sélectivité sur le marché du travail," Working Papers halshs-00971684, HAL.
    2. Röttgers, Dirk, 2016. "Conditional cooperation, context and why strong rules work — A Namibian common-pool resource experiment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 21-31.
    3. Yannick Fondeur & Michèle Forté & Guillemette De Larquier & Sylvie Monchatre & Géraldine Rieucau & Marie Salognon & Ariel Sevilla & Carole Tuchszirer, 2012. "Pratiques de recrutement et sélectivité sur le marché du travail," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00971684, HAL.
    4. Kirman, Alan & Markose, Sheri & Giansante, Simone & Pin, Paolo, 2007. "Marginal contribution, reciprocity and equity in segregated groups: Bounded rationality and self-organization in social networks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 2085-2107, June.
    5. Brian S. Collins & Robin Mansell, 2004. "Cyber trust and crime prevention: a synthesis of the state-of-the-art science reviews," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4252, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Networks; community; trust games.;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:00-03-017. 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: (Thomas Krichel). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/epstfus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.