The Clan and the City: Sustaining Cooperation in China and Europe
Posted: 6 Jul 2012 Last revised: 29 Apr 2017
Date Written: Sep 5, 2015
Over the last millennium, the clan and the city have been the locus of cooperation in China and Europe respectively. This paper examines -- analytically, historically, and empirically -- the cultural, social, and institutional co-evolution that led to this bifurcation. We highlight that groups with which individuals identify are basic units of cooperation. Such groups impact institutional development because intra-group moral commitment reduces enforcement cost implying a comparative advantage in pursuing collective actions. Moral groups perpetuate due to positive feedbacks between morality, institutions, and the implied pattern of cooperation.
Keywords: Cooperation, Moral Groups, China, Europe, Institutions, Development
JEL Classification: N00, O10, O50, P51, Z10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation