• Benjamin Enke


September 2023, Paper: "This article reviews the growing economics literature that studies the politico-economic impacts of heterogeneity in moral boundaries across individuals and cultures. The so-called universalism versus-particularism cleavage has emerged as a main organizing principle behind various salient features of contemporary political competition, including individual-level and spatial variation in voting, the realignment of rich liberals and poor conservatives, the internal structure of ideology, and the moral content of political messaging. A recurring theme is that the explanatory power of universalism for left-wing policy views and voting is considerably larger than that of traditional economic variables. Looking at the origins of heterogeneity in universalism, an emerging consensus is that cross-group variation is partly economically functional and reflects that morality evolved to support cooperation in economic production. This insight organizes much work on how kinship systems, market exposure, political institutions and ecology have shaped universalism through their impacts on the relative benefits of localized and impersonal interactions."