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Institutional and Behavioral Modeling of the Economic Fabric of Urban Eastern Ethiopian Communities: Shared Value System, Group Decision Making Behavior and Wellbeing

Demiessie, Habtamu (2020): Institutional and Behavioral Modeling of the Economic Fabric of Urban Eastern Ethiopian Communities: Shared Value System, Group Decision Making Behavior and Wellbeing.

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Abstract

The essence of this study is to map the economic fabric of urban eastern Ethiopian communities. To that end, shared value system in the communities of interest was explored. The whole set of analysis and inferences were meant to hypothesize, conceptualize and/or characterize on key behavioral and institutional variables that defines the economic fabric of a particular society. Core behavioral and institutional variables subjected in this study that construct the group decision making behaviorswere: life style (philosophy of life), rationality of economic agents, life satisfaction, individualistic motives, workmanship traits, consumption and saving behavior. The study is essentially framed based on the principles of hypothetical research. By way of making inferences, techniques/tools from institutional/behavioral economics were borrowed. Moreover, theoretical and empirical evidences from positive psychology,behavioral economics, social economics, economic sociology & social anthropology were employed. The study found out that shared value system in the urban eastern Ethiopian setting manifests as in the followings: a) while making decisions, people often look the matter they supposed to decide in an absolute abstraction. It is customary that people are unwilling to look the pros and cons of their decisions. b) People try to disregard or even mitigate or 'avoid‘ the negative outcomes of their actions (decisions). The study inferred that the shared value system is a social construct meant to cope up from uncertainties arising out of uncertain (risky) nature of prevailing fabric of life, which is a typical feature of urban eastern Ethiopia. Furthermore, the study explained and/or hypothesized on how those behavioral elements are interpreted into wellbeing of people. More importantly, the behavioral/institutional modeling made can be used to understand the fabrics of collective/communal societies in general. Therefore, academic and research circles are expected to give due emphasis to probing why/how the prevailing shared values/institutional system would be progressive or retrogressive to wellbeing of people and communities of interest of the study. Moreover, policy regimes should consider those variables their concern, where interventions in this regard are expected to overcome retrogressive behavioral and institutional elements and nurture those which are progressive to wellbeing.

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