Avner Ben-Ner

Avner Ben-Neris Professor and Director of the Industrial Relations Center at the University of Minnesota. He has studied the structure and behavior of various types of firms, and economies of Eastern Europe. Currently he investigates the consequences of the organization of work for profits, productivity, workplace safety, wages, and employment, as well as the origins of individuals’ values, especially the proclivity to cooperate and reciprocate.

Papers Published in World Economics:

Values Matter

Human beings display a complex set of behavioural predispositions, including a strong inclination to pursue self-interest but also empathy, receptivity to norms of reciprocity, and an inclination to punish violators of such norms. Not only are workable economic arrangements constrained by the types of people a society shapes from the genetic material at hand, but also, the arrangements adopted will themselves strengthen or weaken dispositions towards reciprocity and other behaviors. Here the case is argued for considering the two-way interaction between institutions and values by discussing three examples: the workplace, the family, and social insurance systems.

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