Evolutionary Game of Group Cooperation Institutions for Chaoshan Businessmen in Ming and Qing Dynasties
Keywords:business, economics, Chaoshan businessmen, group cooperation, historical and comparative institutional analysis, evolutionary game
Chaoshan businessmen were widely involved in internal group cooperation. Based on historical and comparative institutional analysis, it is found that the cooperative behavior of Chaoshan businessmen in the Ming and Qing Dynasties is not simply an economic behavior. It reflects the historical evolution of the interaction between the regional cultures concerning the sea, clan and Confucianism, the governance of merchant groups with blood and geographical characteristics, and the beliefs of merchants in Mazu and Guan Yu. The evolutionary game theory is used to investigate the evolutionary process and the evolutionary stable strategy of the internal cooperative behavior of Chaoshan businessmen. It shows that due to the joint influence of regional culture, governance of merchant groups and beliefs of merchants, a multilateral collective punishment mechanism for untrustworthy merchants and a loss compensation mechanism for trustworthy merchants are established through channels such as chambers of commerce and ancestral temples. Thus, it reinforces the group cooperation institutions of integrity within Chaoshan merchant groups in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.