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Foundations of Human SocialityEconomic Experiments and Ethnographic Evidence from Fifteen Small-Scale Societies$
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Joseph Henrich, Robert Boyd, Samuel Bowles, Colin Camerer, Ernst Fehr, and Herbert Gintis

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199262052

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199262055.001.0001

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Community Structure, Mobility, and the Strength of Norms in an African Society: The Sangu of Tanzania

Community Structure, Mobility, and the Strength of Norms in an African Society: The Sangu of Tanzania

Chapter:
(p.335) 11 Community Structure, Mobility, and the Strength of Norms in an African Society: The Sangu of Tanzania
Source:
Foundations of Human Sociality
Author(s):

Richard McElreath

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199262055.003.0011

Ultimatum Game results are presented from an African society, the Sangu of the Usangu Plains southwest Tanzania, with substantial internal economic variation. The study involved two communities: a more sedentary and stable community of farmers from the agricultural areas of Utengule, and a more mobile and compositionally fluid community of agro‐pastoralists (individuals who sometimes farm but also derive a substantial amount of their income from livestock) from Ukwaheri. The Utengule community exhibited more rejections in the Ultimatum Game than the Ukwaheri community, although the two communities exhibited no differences in the distributions of offers made in the game, implying that they share an idealized norm for sharing (‘dividing equally’), but differ in their willingness or perception of the need to punish norm violations. Individual variables such as age and differences in the nature and duration (stability and longevity) of relationships among the two groups may explain some of the difference in offers and willingness to reject; an evaluation is also made of the possibility that differences in risk‐aversion may account for the differences in rejection rates. A method for describing and comparing the rejection rates of different populations is presented, and problems caused by the structure of the Ultimatum Game in the interpretation of data like these are discussed.

Keywords:   age, agro‐pastoral community, internal economic variation, offers, punishment of norm violations, rejections, risk‐aversion, sangu, sedentary agricultural community, sharing, stability of relationships, tanzania, ultimatum Game

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