The historical roots of cooperative behavior-Evidence from eastern Congo

Autor(en): De Juan, Alexander 
Koos, Carlo
Stichwörter: AFRICA; Business & Economics; CAUSAL MECHANISMS; CONFLICT; Cooperative norms; CREATION; CULTURE; Development Studies; DRC; Economics; EVOLUTION; FIELD EXPERIMENT; Long-term effects; Nation building; ORIGINS; POLITICAL-INSTITUTIONS; VIOLENCE
Erscheinungsdatum: 2019
Volumen: 116
Startseite: 100
Seitenende: 112
Cooperative norms and behavior are considered to be essential requirements for sustainable stabilization and development in conflict-affected states. It is therefore particularly important to understand what factors explain their salience in contexts of war, violence and displacement. In this paper, we assess the role of historical political legacies. We argue that precolonial processes of nation-building have strengthened people's communal bonds to an imagined community, and that these bonds continue to positively impact present-day cooperative norms and behavior. We investigate this argument using the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as an empirical case. We combine historical information on the location and the main features of the precolonial Bushi Kingdom with original georeferenced survey data to investigate variation in cooperative norms within and outside of the boundaries of the precolonial ``nation.'' We exploit information on people's awareness of proverbs associated with the original foundation myths of the kingdom to assess the role of long-term norm persistence. We find evidence in line with our argument on the historical roots of cooperative behavior. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN: 0305750X
DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2018.11.011

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