Marco Casari
U. Bologna



(Tuesday, 20th May 2014)

Title : Foundations of Cooperation in Societies

Download the presentation - 3.62 MB

The field research about the management of common property resources offers key lessons about how to promote cooperation. It presents evidence about a diversified and long-lasting set of cases. The institutional analyses has drawn, among others, from the economic analysis of property rights and game theory. Although only occasionally applies to this issues, the Folk theorems provide a powerful tool to interpret these long-term endevours within the lenses of a suitable theoretical framework.

The workshop will illustrate of these concepts through the historical case of the commons in Northern Italy. The first part will discuss the bottom-up emergence of legal institutions for sustaining cooperation in the appropriation of a common property resource. The second part will address the role of the inheritance systems for the long-term avoidance of the tragedy of the commons.

Bibliographical references :

Must read reference : Casari, Marco (2007) Emergence of endogenous legal institutions: property rights and community governance in the Italian Alps, Journal of Economic History 2007, 67, 1, 191-226

Elinor Ostrom (1990) Governing the Commons, Cambridge University Press, Chapter 3, pages 58-102.

Casari, Marco and Maurizio Lisciandra (2014) Gender Discrimination in Property Rights, working paper

Guala, Francesco (2012) Strong reciprocity is real, but there is no evidence that uncoordinated costly punishment sustains cooperation in the wild, Behavioral and Brain Sciences,  01, 35, 1469-1825.

Wiessner, P. (2005) Norm enforcement among the Ju/'hoansi bushmen: A case for strong reciprocity? Human Nature 16(2):115–45. Available at: