April 7, 2011

Experiments, comportament i MAOA

Si hi ha una branca de l'economia que creix notòriament és l'economia experimental i del comportament. I a partir d'avui és notícia a Barcelona perquè hi ha el congrés internacional sobre la qüestió, IMEBE.
Dels abstracts destaco aquest:
Genetic susceptibility for individual cooperation preferences: The role of monoamine oxidase a gene (MAOA) in the voluntary provision of public goods
Michele Griessmaier. University of Trier
Vanessa Mertins. University of Trier
Andrea Schote-Frese. University of Trier
Wolfgang Hoffeld. IAAEG. University of Trier
Jobst Meyer. University of Trier
In the context of social dilemmas, previous research has shown that human cooperation is mainly based on the social norm of conditional cooperation. While in most cases individuals behave according to such a norm, deviant behavior is no exception. Recent research further suggests that heterogeneity in social behavior might be associated with varying genetic predispositions. In this study, we investigated the relationship between individuals' behavior in a public goods experiment and the promoter-region functional repeat polymorphism in the monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA). In a dynamic setting of decreasing uncertainty, we were able to analyze differences in two main components of conditional cooperation, namely the players' own contribution and their beliefs regarding the contribution of other players. We showed that there are significant associations between individuals' behavior in a repeated public goods game and MAOA. Our results suggest that male carriers of the low activity alleles cooperate significantly less than those carrying the high activity alleles given a situation of high uncertainty. With decreasing uncertainty about the others' cooperativeness, the genetic effect diminishes. Furthermore, significant opposing effects for female subjects carrying two low activity alleles were observed.
Els aimants de la predicció del comportament social restaran satisfets, i d'altres com jo, ens mantindrem escèptics a l'espera de nous resultats. Cal dir que el tema del MAOA, el gen del guerrer, farà parlar.