31st May 2008
Steve Sailer is always worth reading.
Not surprisingly, players in all countries chose to give up some money to punish freeloaders. The difference was in how the freeloaders reacted to being punished. In prosperous countries, the cheaters tended to respond to punishment by mending their ways. In the more uproarious countries, however, the bad guys just got mad and hit back.
In countries with democratic market economies, peer pressure goaded people to cooperate. Among authoritarian societies or those dominated more by ties of kinship, freeloaders instead lashed out at those who censured them, the researchers found.
That explains a lot about the Middle East.