Trust, Primary Commodity Dependence and Segregation
D. VAN DE GAER
Many third world countries seem to fail to create a growth-promoting and peaceful institutional framework and are plagued by ethnic, religious or social conflict. This paper focuses on the impact of primary commodities on group behavior and, thus, on the nature of the resulting societies. Strategies are analyzed in a basic one-shot game with two players and two strategies, in which priors vis-a-vis the other player matter. We show that poverty, foreign interference and trust influence a group's willingness to cooperate. Under some circumstances (partial) segregation and (political) strife prove to be utility-maximizing and equilibrium strategies.
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