The economic origins of the evil eye belief

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization Vol/Iss. 110 Published In Pages: 119-144
By Gershman, Boris


The author analyzes 76 societies synchronically, positing that the evil eye belief functions as a useful heuristic and prosocial/cohesive element in weakly-institutionalized societies with significant wealth inequality; in particular, the evil eye belief is found to be more prevalent in agro-pastoral societies where material wealth is vulnerable and plays a dominant role in subsistence economy.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
Standard Cross Cultural Sample (SCCS)Other Researchers
Ethnographic Atlas (EA)Other Researchers

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:Christina Carolus