Herding, Warfare, and a Culture of Honor: Global Evidence

NBER Working Paper Series Vol/Iss. Working Paper 29250 National Bureau of Economic Research Cambridge, MA Published In Pages: ??
By Cao, Yiming, Enke, Benjamin, Falk, Armin, Giuliano, Paola, Nunn, Nathan


The authors of this study globally test the culture of honor hypothesis, which proposes that societies with traditional herding practices developed value systems that encourage revenge and violence. Because their livelihood depends on a mobile asset, herders are more vulnerable to theft and may be more likely to turn to violence or aggressiveness to defend their animals. The authors found dependence on herding to be significantly associated with both past and contemporary conflict and punishment.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
Standard Cross Cultural Sample (SCCS)Other researchersRecords matched with EA
Ethnographic Atlas (EA)Other researchers1,127 societies with herding data
Ethnologue: Languages of the WorldOther researchersEthnolinguistic matching
Global Preference SurveyOther researchersWillingness to take revenge
Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP)Other researchersLocation and incidence of conflicts
Folklore CatalogueOther researchersFolklore data

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:anj.droe