The Clan and the Corporation: Sustaining Cooperation in China and Europe

74 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2015 Last revised: 30 Apr 2017

See all articles by Avner Greif

Avner Greif

Stanford University - Department of Economics; Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)

Guido Tabellini

Bocconi University - Department of Economics; Bocconi University - IGIER - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research; Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research (CESifo)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 1, 2017

Abstract

Over the last millennium, the clan and the corporation have been the loci of cooperation in China and Europe respectively. This paper examines -- analytically and historically -- the cultural and institutional co-evolution that led to this bifurcation. We highlight that groups with which individuals identify are basic units of cooperation. Such loyalty groups influence institutional development because intra-group moral commitment reduces enforcement cost implying a comparative advantage in pursuing collective actions. Loyalty groups perpetuate due to positive feedbacks between morality, institutions, and the implied pattern of cooperation.

Keywords: Institutions, Culture, Cooperation, China, Europe, Clans, Corporation, Social organization

Suggested Citation

Greif, Avner and Tabellini, Guido, The Clan and the Corporation: Sustaining Cooperation in China and Europe (January 1, 2017). Journal of Comparative Economics, Vol. 45, No. 1, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2565120 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2565120

Avner Greif (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) ( email )

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Guido Tabellini

Bocconi University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Bocconi University - IGIER - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research ( email )

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Italy

Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research (CESifo)

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Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

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