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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 Robinson

No 23196, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

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: N00 O10 Z1 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-evo and nep-soc
Note: DAE DEV EFG LE POL
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Published as Jacob Moscona & Nathan Nunn & James A. Robinson, 2017. "Keeping It in the Family: Lineage Organization and the Scope of Trust in Sub-Saharan Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 565-571, May.

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