Ode to the sea: workplace organizations and norms of cooperation

Uri Gneezy, Andreas Leibbrandt, John A. List

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The functioning and well-being of any society and organisation hinges on norms of cooperation that regulate social activities. There is no empirical evidence on how such norms emerge and in which environments they thrive remains a clear void in the literature. We compare behaviour in Brazilian fishermen societies that differ in the workplace organisation. In one society (by the sea), fishermen are forced to work in groups, whereas in the adjacent society (on a lake) fishing is inherently an individual activity. We report that the sea fishermen trust and cooperate more and have greater ability to coordinate group actions than their lake counterparts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1856-1883
Number of pages28
JournalThe Economic Journal
Issue number595
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016

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