Experimental Economics

Foundations of Human Sociality: Phase I

Experiments in 15 Small-Scale Societies

Funded by the Preference Network, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Beginning in 1997, we undertook a cross-cultural experimental study in fifteen small-scale societies scattered across the world including Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Indonesia. We found that there was considerably more variation in behavior across societies than had previously been reported, and that it correlated positively with the societies’ degree of involvement in the market.

Principal Investigators: Joseph Henrich and Robert Boyd

Advisors on Experimentation and Game Theory: Samuel Bowles, Colin Camerer, Catherine Eckel, Ernst Fehr, Herbert Gintis

Field Workers: Michael Alvard, Abigail Barr, Jean Ensminger, Francisco Gil-White, Michael Gurven, Joseph Henrich, Kim Hill, Frank Marlowe, Richard McElreath, John Q. Patton, Natalie Smith, David Tracer

The Roots of Human Sociality: Phase II

Experiments in 15 Small-Scale Societies

Funded by the National Science Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation

We set out in Phase II of the project to extend our work on the co-evolution of pro-social norms and the market. In conjunction with new core experiments (the dictator game, the ultimatum game with strategy method, and the third party-punishment game), new sites, and a more rigorous protocol, we also vastly increased the socio-demographic data collection. In addition, some sites ran double blind dictator games, contextualized versions of games, and trust experiments combined with network analysis.

Principal Investigators: Jean Ensminger and Joseph Henrich

Researchers: Abigail Barr, Clark Barrett, Alexander Bolyanatz, Juan Camilo Cardenas, Jean Ensminger, Michael Gurven, Edwins Laban Moogi Gwako, Joseph Henrich, Carolyn Lesorogol, Frank Marlowe, Richard McElreath, David Tracer, and John Ziker

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