martedì 7 settembre 2010

La morale si compra al mercato un tanto al chilo

Lo scambio implica fiducia e la fiducia implica scambi.

Ovvero, l' economia implica l' etica e l' etica favorisce l' economia.

Ovvero, tutto puo' essere ridotto ad economia.

Ovvero, il mercato non ha bisogno di regole.


The psychologist Joseph Henrich... and his colleagues engaged over 2,000 people in 15 small communities around the world in a two-player exchange called the “ultimatum game,” in which one subject is given a sum of money equivalent to a day’s pay and is allowed to keep or share some or all of it with another person. Let’s say I give you $100 to split between yourself and your partner in the game. Whatever division of the money you propose, if your partner accepts it, you are both richer by that amount, but if he rejects it, neither of you receives any money.

How much would you offer? Why not suggest a $90-$10 split, as classical economics predicts, thus maximizing your personal profit? The other player wouldn't turn down a free ten bucks, would he? As it turns out, he would very often. In Henrich's research, proposals that deviated much beyond a $70-$30 split were usually rejected. But not always. There was variation between groups and societies. Henrich and his team found that people in hunter-gatherer communities shared about 25 percent of the pot, while people in societies who regularly engage in trade gave away about 45 percent. What they called "market integration" was by far the strongest predictor of fairness and generosity.

Henrich concluded that norms of market fairness “evolved as part of an overall process of societal evolution to sustain mutually beneficial exchanges in contexts where established social relationships (for example, kin, reciprocity, and status) were insufficient.” In other words, we are naturally inclined to be fair and generous with our kin and kind because of genetic relatedness and reciprocal connectedness. But to get people to be fair and generous to strangers in other tribes, we need cultural institutions, especially trade.

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