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Shocks, preferences, and institutions: experimental evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa.

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  • Additional Information
    • Author(s):
    • Address:
      Wageningen University, Wageningen, Netherlands.
    • Publication Information:
      Netherlands
    • Abstract:
      In this thesis I investigate the formation of preferences and institutions. Although these concepts are central to economic theory, there is still a lot to be understood about how preferences and institutions change in response to shocks. I present field-experimental evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa, gradually zooming out through different levels of responses to shocks. In Chapter 1 I introduce the concepts of preferences and institutions, presenting an overview of the methodologies and research questions guiding the core chapters. In Chapter 2 I look at the fetal origins of preferences for cooperation. I study the effect of prenatal trauma on the cooperation of those born during the Lord's Resistance Army insurgency in northern Uganda. In Chapter 3 I look at the preferences for competition towards in- and outgroups, in relation to conflict exposure. I study aggressiveness and willingness to compete among youth in Sierra Leone, using the group dynamics generated by a local football tournament to separate in- and outgroup behavior. I find that football players that experienced more intense exposure to violence are more likely to get a foul card during a game. Also, I isolate competitiveness from aggressiveness in the lab, and find that conflict exposure increases the willingness to compete towards the outgroup - not the in-group. I conjecture that violent conflict is not only a destructive process, but that it may also trigger autonomous transformations in believes and preferences. In Chapter 4 I look at the endogeneity of rational choice among adults. I study the relationship between market exposure and rationality in rural Ethiopia, through a laboratory experiment involving sesame brokers and farmers. Following a randomly assigned trading session in a competitive auction, I find that farmers and brokers selected for the treatment behave more rationally than their peers in the control group. Markets are thus not only neutral institutions; they change the way people make decisions. I speculate that, in the presence of endogenous rationality, a rapid market expansion may offer dynamic efficiency gains, but that it may also affect the distribution of rents and wealth at the local and regional levels. In Chapter 5 I look at the relationship between formal and informal institutions. I study the dynamics of social capital - proxied by contributions to a public goods game - in response to the introduction of a formal insurance scheme in southwestern Uganda. I find that formal insurance crowds-out social capital, but that it is not those adopting the formal insurance who reduce their contributions (as predicted by theory). Instead, social capital erodes because of the uninsured. I argue that this is consistent with "weapons of the weak" theories, emphasizing social embeddedness. Those who fear to lose from this inequality-increasing innovation respond with the only "weapons" at hand-by reducing cooperation in other domains. In Chapter 6 I look at how the penetration of formal law affects customary legal institutions. I study the effects of introducing a formal legal alternative on the arbitration decisions of real customary judges in Ethiopia. I find that introducing a legal fallback reduces arbitration biases and draws the decisions of customary judges significantly closer to the formal law. At the same time, agents disfavored by the custom do not take advantage of their increased bargaining power. I argue that most effects of increased competition between formal law and customary legal institutions may rise from changes in the latter, rather than from plaintiffs seeking justice under the rule of law. Chapter 7 offers a discussion and synthesis.
    • Number of References:
      many ref.
    • Subject Terms:
      Rural Development;Tropical Diseases;Postharvest Research;Leisure, Recreation, Tourism
    • Subject Terms:
    • Accession Number:
      Abyssinia, aggressive behavior, behavior, beniseed, choice, English football, legal aspects, legal principles, preferences, social behavior, social capital, subsaharan Africa
    • CABICODES:
      Agencies and Organizations (DD100)
      Laws and Regulations (DD500)
      Agricultural Economics (EE110)
      Health Economics (EE118) (New March 2000)
      Marketing and Distribution (EE700)
      Crop Produce (QQ050)
      Health Services (UU350)
      Social Psychology and Social Anthropology (UU485) (New March 2000)
      Conflict (UU495) (New March 2000)
      Sport and Recreational Activities (UU625) (New March 2000)
    • Publication Information:
      Thesis; ISBN:9789462572621
    • Accession Number:
      20153142879
    • Copyright:
      ©2015 CAB International
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      CECCHI, F. Shocks, preferences, and institutions: experimental evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa. 2015. Wageningen Universiteit (Wageningen University), Wageningen; Netherlands, 2015. Disponível em: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=lhh&AN=20153142879. Acesso em: 27 set. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Cecchi F. Shocks, preferences, and institutions: experimental evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa. Shocks, preferences and institutions: experimental evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa. 2015:198. Accessed September 27, 2020. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=lhh&AN=20153142879
    • APA:
      Cecchi, F. (2015). Shocks, preferences, and institutions: experimental evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa [Wageningen Universiteit (Wageningen University)]. In Shocks, preferences and institutions: experimental evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa (p. 198).
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Cecchi, F. 2015. “Shocks, Preferences, and Institutions: Experimental Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa.” Shocks, Preferences and Institutions: Experimental Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa. Wageningen; Netherlands: Wageningen Universiteit (Wageningen University). http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=lhh&AN=20153142879.
    • Harvard:
      Cecchi, F. (2015) Shocks, preferences, and institutions: experimental evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa, Shocks, preferences and institutions: experimental evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa. Wageningen Universiteit (Wageningen University). Available at: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=lhh&AN=20153142879 (Accessed: 27 September 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Cecchi, F 2015, ‘Shocks, preferences, and institutions: experimental evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa’, Wageningen Universiteit (Wageningen University), Wageningen; Netherlands, Shocks, preferences and institutions: experimental evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa, p. 198, viewed 27 September 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Cecchi, F. “Shocks, Preferences, and Institutions: Experimental Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa.” Shocks, Preferences and Institutions: Experimental Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa, Wageningen Universiteit (Wageningen University), 2015, p. 198. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=lhh&AN=20153142879.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Cecchi, F. “Shocks, Preferences, and Institutions: Experimental Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa.” Shocks, Preferences and Institutions: Experimental Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa. Wageningen Universiteit (Wageningen University), 2015. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=lhh&AN=20153142879.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Cecchi F. Shocks, preferences, and institutions: experimental evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa [Internet]. Shocks, preferences and institutions: experimental evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa. [Wageningen; Netherlands]: Wageningen Universiteit (Wageningen University); 2015 [cited 2020 Sep 27]. p. 198. Available from: http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=lhh&AN=20153142879