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Social Dilemmas and Human Behavior

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Do monkeys outsmart us?

(This is an English translation of an entry I originally published in Spanish in Nada es Gratis, the leading economic blog in Spanish. Therefore, versión española is here)

Chimpancé-2A topic often featured in Nada es Gratis is the experimental evidence about different hypotheses or ideas. This is because in the last decades experimental (or behavioral) economics is becoming an important subfield of economics, aiming to understand how we behave in certain situations through an experimental approach. Therefore, readers of Nada es Gratis won’t find it strange that I am talking about this… except for the fact that I am going to discuss experiments with our closest relatives: primates, and in particular chimpanzees. The result is going to surprise you (or maybe not, in fact I’m not surprised by it): we people are dumber than monkeys! Continue reading