The sharp gap in development between the North and the South of Italy represents a paradigmatic case of persistent within‐country disparities. The evidence suggests that this gap could depend on a difference in the ability to cooperate. We investigate experimentally three possible sources of this difference, and find that Northerners and Southerners share the same pro‐social preferences, but differ both in their belief about cooperativeness and in the aversion to social risk, ? respectively, more pessimistic and stronger among Southerners; intervention or events that reduced pessimistic beliefs should directly boost cooperation.

At the Root of the North-South Cooperation Gap in Italy: Preferences or Beliefs?

Bigoni, Maria;Bortolotti, Stefania;Casari, Marco
;
Gambetta, Diego
2019

Abstract

The sharp gap in development between the North and the South of Italy represents a paradigmatic case of persistent within‐country disparities. The evidence suggests that this gap could depend on a difference in the ability to cooperate. We investigate experimentally three possible sources of this difference, and find that Northerners and Southerners share the same pro‐social preferences, but differ both in their belief about cooperativeness and in the aversion to social risk, ? respectively, more pessimistic and stronger among Southerners; intervention or events that reduced pessimistic beliefs should directly boost cooperation.
Bigoni, Maria; Bortolotti, Stefania; Casari, Marco; Gambetta, Diego
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/675785
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