Why hunter-gatherers work: An ancient version of the problem of public goods
From the abstract: People who hunt and gather for a living share some resources more widely than others. A favored hypothesis to explain the differential sharing is that giving up portions of large, unpredictable resources obligates others to return shares of them later, reducing everyone's variance in consumption. I show that this insurance argument is not empirically supported for !Kung, Ache, and Hadza foragers. An alternative hypothesis is that the cost of _not_ sharing these resources is too high to pay.
University of Chicago Press
Hunter-gatherer societies; Public goods
Hunting and gathering societies; Economic anthropology
Hawkes, K. (1993). Why Hunter-gatherers work. Current Anthropology, 34(4), 341.