Moral Sentiments and Material Interests: The Foundations of Cooperation in Economic Life

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Herbert Gintis
MIT Press, 2005 - Business & Economics - 404 pages
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Moral Sentiments and Material Interests presents an innovative synthesis of research in different disciplines to argue that cooperation stems not from the stereotypical selfish agent acting out of disguised self-interest but from the presence of "strong reciprocators" in a social group.

Presenting an overview of research in economics, anthropology, evolutionary and human biology, social psychology, and sociology, the book deals with both the theoretical foundations and the policy implications of this explanation for cooperation. Chapter authors in the remaining parts of the book discuss the behavioral ecology of cooperation in humans and nonhuman primates, modeling and testing strong reciprocity in economic scenarios, and reciprocity and social policy. The evidence for strong reciprocity in the book includes experiments using the famous Ultimatum Game (in which two players must agree on how to split a certain amount of money or they both get nothing.)
 

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Contents

Moral Sentiments and Material Interests Origins Evidence and Consequences
3
The Behavioral Ecology of Cooperation
41
The Evolution of Cooperation in Primate Groups
43
The Natural History of Human Food Sharing and Cooperation A Review and a New MultiIndividual Approach to the Negotiation of Norms
75
Costly Signaling and Cooperative Behavior
115
Modeling and Testing Strong Reciprocity
149
The Economics of Strong Reciprocity
151
Modeling Strong Reciprocity
193
Reciprocity and Social Policy
251
Policies That Crowd out Reciprocity and Collective Action
253
Reciprocity and the Welfare State
277
Fairness Reciprocity and Wage Rigidity
303
The Logic of Reciprocity Trust Collective Action and Law
339
Social Capital Moral Sentiments and Community Governance
379
Contributors
399
Index
401

The Evolution of Altruistic Punishment
215
Norm Compliance and Strong Reciprocity
229

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