nep-evo New Economics Papers
on Evolutionary Economics
Issue of 2014‒10‒17
two papers chosen by
Matthew Baker
City University of New York

  1. Solidarity with a sharp edge: Communal conflict and local collective action in rural Nigeria By Max Schaub
  2. Trust, Workplace Organization, and Comparative Economic Development By Hoorn, A.A.J. van

  1. By: Max Schaub (European University Institute, Italy)
    Abstract: This paper provides new insights into the link between the experience of violent conflict and local collective action. I use the temporal and geographical information from four rounds of survey data from Nigeria to relate measures of cooperation to past and future incidences of communal conflict. I show that local collective action, measured in terms of community meeting attendance and volunteering, is highest before the outbreak of vio-lence – higher than both post-conflict levels and the generally lower levels of cooperation in regions not affected by violence. I develop a ‘mobilisation mechanism’ to explain these findings, arguing that, rather than being an indicator of ‘social capital’, collective action ahead of communal violence is inherently ambiguous, and driven by a form of situational-ly adaptive (and potentially aggressive) ‘solidarity with an edge’. I further show that the positive link between previous exposure to civil war-type violence and cooperation holds for Nigeria, too, but that it holds for rural areas only.
    Keywords: violent conflict; collective action; Nigeria
    Date: 2014–09
  2. By: Hoorn, A.A.J. van (Groningen University)
    Abstract: I propose and test a bottom-up channel through which trust between parties to an exchange can go on to affect comparative economic development of societies as a whole. My approach revolves around the autonomy that employers (principals) grant to workers (agents), which is a key feature of workplace organization. Analyses using measures of the cultural component of trust confirm my hypothesis that higher social trust leads countries to specialize in industries characterized by high levels of work autonomy in their production processes. My key contribution is to integrate the microeconomic literature on workplace organization with the macroeconomic literature on trust.
    Date: 2014

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