Chapter

Market Integration and Fairness: Evidence from Ultimatum, Dictator, and Public Goods Experiments in East Africa

Jean Ensminger

in Foundations of Human Sociality

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780199262052
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601637 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199262055.003.0012
 Market Integration and Fairness: Evidence from Ultimatum, Dictator, and Public Goods Experiments in East Africa

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An analysis of the role of market integration and fairness in the responses of the Orma of northern Kenya in the Ultimatum, Dictator, and Public Goods Games is presented. The Orma are a pastoral–nomadic community who are divided into three sections in the Tana River District and are dependent mainly on cattle, but in increasing numbers are diversifying into trade and wage labour; this research took place among the geographically central Galole Orma. The chapter describes the political economy of the Orma, and the methods used for the study, and presents and analyses the results of the three games, looking at the effects of wage/trade income in the Ultimatum and Dictator Games. The results are consistent with the general finding from the overall cross‐cultural project that shows fairness increasing with market integration. Something appears to trigger fair‐mindedness in association with exposure to market institutions, maybe a higher premium on reputation, and eventually, this norm appears to be internalized, as evidenced by its emergence in the anonymous, one‐shot, economic experiments.

Keywords: Dictator Game; fairness; Kenya; market integration; Orma; pastoral–nomadic communities; Public Goods Game; reputation; trade income; Ultimatum Game; wage labour

Chapter.  9390 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Microeconomics

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