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经济学人:慷慨经济学 邻居的善意

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Finance and economics: The economics of generosity The kindness of neighbours

财经:慷慨经济学 邻居的善意
A new paper asks why some Tanzanian farmers are more selfish than others.
一份新的报纸说为何一些坦桑尼亚农民比其他人更自私。
In the semi-arid lowlands of Mufindi, in southern Tanzania, water is hard to come by.
姆芬迪低地位于坦桑尼亚南部,属半干旱气候,水资源匮乏。
Villagers rely on irrigation to grow maize, potatoes and spinach.
村民依靠灌溉设施种植玉米、土豆和菠菜。

慷慨经济学邻居的善意.jpeg

Informal and often woolly codes govern how much water each farmer diverts to their own fields, and how much they leave for their neighbours downstream.

农民自家用多少水,给下游乡亲留多少水,没有官方说法,也没有明确标准。
Some farmers, naturally, turn out to be more grasping than others.
一些村民相比其他人表现出了较为贪婪的本性。
Economists typically see such decisions as irreducible: there is no accounting for individuals' values and preferences.
经济学家普遍认为,每个人有各自的价值观和偏好,所以水资源分配的决策也很难一概而论。
But a new study investigates why there is such variation in generosity among Mufindi's farmers.
但一项新研究探讨了姆芬迪农民慷慨程度差异背后的原因。
The researchers asked other villagers to rank each farmer's social status on a scale of one to four.
研究人员要求其他村民将每个农民的社会地位按一到四分级。
Then they invited the farmers to take part in a game in which participants had to decide how much water they would take under different scenarios.
然后,他们邀请农民参与一项游戏。游戏中,参与者要决定自己在不同情境下的用水量。
Participants were paid small sums, which varied according to how well they did in the game.
参与者根据表现可以拿到少额不同的报酬。
They received more money if they reaped a bigger harvest by taking more than their share of water, for instance, but less if the other villagers fined them for violating water-sharing norms.
例如,如果取水量大于应得份额,收成就更好,参与者得到的报酬就更高;但如果因违反水资源共享规则而遭到其他村民罚款,报酬就会少一些。
In hypothetical times of scarcity, only high-status women shared the water fairly.
在水资源稀缺的假设条件下,只有地位高的女性公平共享了水资源。
Low-status men and women would share fairly when water was plentiful, but were stingier when water was scarce.
地位低的男性和女性,当水资源丰富时尚能公平分享,匮乏时则吝啬得多。
High-status men hogged water at all times.
地位高的男性不论何时都会独占水资源。
Rather than simply conclude that some farmers were more altruistic than others, however, the researchers split the participants into groups by status and gender to discuss the outcome.
研究人员没有将上述现象简单地归结为一些农民更为大公无私,而是将参与者按照社会地位和性别分组以便讨论结果。
Rich and powerful men, it turned out, were less worried about being greedy, either because the gains dwarfed any fine, or because they assumed their downstream neighbours would not dare complain.
研究表明,有钱有势的男性之所以不那么在意自己是否太贪婪了,要么是因为贪婪带来的收益远远超过了罚款,要么是因为他们认为下游邻居不敢抱怨。
One villager said that she had to keep quiet, since the person overusing the water was influential.
一位村民谈到,滥用水的那个人很有势力,她只能闭嘴。
By contrast, another said, “Low-status people are not expected to break the rules.”
相反,也有人说:“不要指望下层人打破规矩。”
Women, even of high status, also seem inhibited.
女性,甚至地位高的女性,看起来都十分克制。
The apparent generosity of women and the poor, in short, may not be the product of compassion, but of discrimination.
简言之,女性和穷人所表现出的慷慨,不是出于同情,而是由于受到了歧视。

译文编自simubai

重点单词   查看全部解释    
informal [in'fɔ:məl]

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adj. 非正式的,不拘形式的

 
complain [kəm'plein]

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vi. 抱怨,悲叹,控诉

 
rank [ræŋk]

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n. 等级,阶层,排,列
v. 分等级,排列,

 
apparent [ə'pærənt]

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adj. 明显的,表面上的

 
govern ['gʌvən]

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vt. 统治,支配,管理,规定
vi. 统治,

 
variation [.vɛəri'eiʃən]

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n. 变化,变动,变种,变奏曲

 
maize [meiz]

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n. 玉米

联想记忆
grasping ['grɑ:spiŋ]

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adj. 贪心的,贪婪的 adj. 抓的,紧紧抓住的 动

联想记忆
varied ['vɛərid]

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adj. 各种各样的 动词vary的过去式和过去分词

 
kindness ['kaindnis]

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n. 仁慈,好意

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