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Hobbes tinha razão?

Anarchy, Groups, and Conflict: An Experiment on the Emergence of Protective Associations

Adam C. Smith, David B. Skarbek, Bart J. Wilson

Abstract: This paper examines group formation in a setting in which participants are endowed with a commodity that can be used to either generate earnings, plunder others, or protect against plunder. In our primary treatment, participants are allowed to form groups for the purpose of pooling resources. We also conduct a baseline comparison treatment that does not allow group formation. We find that allowing subjects to form groups endogenously does not lead to more cooperation and may in fact exacerbate tendencies for conflict.

Eis um experimento, para mim, contra-intuitivo (exceto se você disser que o aumento do número de membros em um grupo, em um mundo com vários grupos, aumenta o custo de transação de comunicação entre eles e, assim, pode haver menos cooperação). Mesmo com este longo parênteses, eu ainda me sinto desconfortável com o resultado.

Interessante trabalho, não?

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Existe mesmo a selva hobbesiana?

An experimental investigation of Hobbesian jungles
Benjamin Powell a,∗, Bart J. Wilson b,1

Abstract
Hobbes’s state of nature serves as the analytical starting point for much of what economists have written on anarchy and the formation of government. Unfortunately little historical evidence exists about how men behaved in a “state of nature”, if such a situation ever even existed. We conducted a laboratory experiment to create a Hobbesian state of nature and observe the level of economic efficiency subjects achieve. We also investigate Buchanan’s conjecture that people would unanimously agree to a social contract against theft.

A página do prof. Powell tem mais detalhes sobre o artigo. Leia também esta excelente resenha sobre a Escolha Pública e a Anarquia.