Apropos Grønland…

Et nyt studie udført i Grønland viser, at folk, der “udsættes for markedet” bl.a. er mere ærlige. Nedenfor er, hvad Alex Tabarrok skriver om studiet.


In a new paper, Gustav Agneman and Esther Chevrot-Bianco test the idea that markets generate more universal behavior. They run their tests in villages in Greenland where some people buy and sell in markets for their primary living while others in the same village still rely for a substantial part of their subsistence on hunting, fishing and personal exchange. They use a dice game in which players report the number of a roll with higher numbers being better for the player. Only the player knows their true roll and there is no way to detect cheaters on an individual basis. In some variants, other people (in-group or out-group) benefit when players report lower numbers. The upshot is that people exposed to market institutions are honest while traditional people cheat. Cheating is only ameliorated in the traditional group when cheating comes at the expense of an in-group (fellow-villager) but not when it comes at the expense of an out-grou member. More generally the authors summarize:

…We conduct rule-breaking experiments in 13 villages across Greenland (N=543), where stark contrasts in market participation within villages allow us to examine the relationship between market participation and moral decision-making holding village-level factors constant. First, we document a robust positive association between market participation and moral behaviour towards anonymous others. Second, market-integrated participants display universalism in moral decision-making, whereas non-market participants make more moral decisions towards co-villagers. A battery of robustness tests confirms that the behavioural differences between market and non-market participants are not driven by socioeconomic variables, childhood background, cultural identities, kinship structure, global connectedness, and exposure to religious and political institutions.

Markets and trade increase trust, cooperation and universal moral action–it is hard to think of a more important finding for the world today.

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