Smackdown time… ouchie!

I think you have to be a development economist with a 15 year old indeed to appreciate this line which made me burst out laughing two minutes ago (11:25 pm Ouagadougou time) while we house-sit at unnamed European embassy staffer house with air-conditioning full blast!!!!!

… explaining why societies with a high degree of sharing nevertheless exhibit selfish game play, Ensminger suggests that ‘self-enforcement need not develop when second party enforcement is ever-present’ (2004:359). This seems somewhat improbable, since second party enforcement is an ineffective approach, involving massive transaction costs, however small and face to face the group, as anyone who has ever had to enforce domestic labour by teenagers will know.

Massive indeed!  Getting the table cleared often requires a long lecture that goes back to first principles… “A. The moral foundations of civil behavior  B. Consequences throughout history of uncivil behavior. C. Digression on internal logic of consequentialism” … Thank you Cecile Jackson.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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