Ancient Origins of the Global Variation in Economic Preferences
AbstractThis paper shows that contemporary population-level heterogeneity in risk aversion, time preference, altruism, positive reciprocity, negative reciprocity, and trust partly traces back to the structure of the migration patterns of our very early ancestors. To document this pattern, we link differences in preferences between populations to the length of time elapsed since the ancestors of the respective groups broke apart from each other, as proxied by genetic and linguistic distance measures. Preference differences are significantly increasing in ancestral distance in both cross-country regressions and within-country analyses across groups of migrants.
CitationBecker, Anke, Benjamin Enke, and Armin Falk. 2020. "Ancient Origins of the Global Variation in Economic Preferences." AEA Papers and Proceedings, 110: 319-23. DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20201071
- D64 Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
- D81 Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- D91 Micro-Based Behavioral Economics: Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
- Z13 Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification