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Keeping It in the Family: Lineage Organization and the Scope of Trust in Sub-Saharan Africa

Jacob Moscona, Nathan Nunn () and James A. Robinson

American Economic Review, 2017, vol. 107, issue 5, 565-71

Abstract: We present evidence that the traditional structure of society is an important determinant of the scope of trust today. Within Africa, individuals belonging to ethnic groups that organized society using segmentary lineages exhibit a more limited scope of trust, measured by the gap between trust in relatives and trust in non-relatives. This trust gap arises because of lower levels of trust in non-relatives and not higher levels of trust in relatives. A causal interpretation of these correlations is supported by the fact that the effects are primarily found in rural areas where these forms of organization are still prevalent.

JEL-codes: J12 J15 O15 O18 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20171088
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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:5:p:565-71