From this article in Evonomics (aka evolutionary economics). Some excerpts:

“There is something very natural about prioritizing your family over other people. There is something very natural about helping your friends and others in your social circle. And there is something very natural about returning favors given to you. These are all smaller scales of cooperation that we share with other animals and that are well described by the math of evolutionary biology. The trouble is that these smaller scales of cooperation can undermine the larger-scale cooperation of modern states. […] One scale of cooperation, typically the one that’s smaller and easier to sustain, undermines another.”

“So how is it that some states prevent these smaller scales of cooperation from undermining large-scale anonymous cooperation? The typical answer is that more successful nations have better institutions. All that’s required is the right set of rules to make society function. But even on the face of it, this answer seems incomplete. […] It’s a combination of norms and institutions. But, it gets tricky—institutions are themselves hardened or codified norms and the norms themselves evolve in response to the present environment and due to path-dependence of previous environments, past decision. […] The science of cultural evolution describes the evolution of these norms and introduces the possibility of out-of-equilibria behavior (people behaving in ways that do not benefit them individually) for long enough for institutions to try to stabilize the new equilibria.”