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A Multidimensional Homo Economicus: Cultural Dimensions of Economic Preferences in Four Countries

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  • Ehmke, Mariah D.
  • Lusk, Jayson L.
  • Tyner, Wallace E.

Abstract

Previous work in experimental economics reveals specific differences in economic behavior, especially reciprocity and free-riding behavior, across cultures. We expand the possible pallet of cross-cultural behavioral differences that may exist. We hypothesize that different kinds of strategic interaction and individual decision-making behaviors differ across locations. The variety of experiments we use allow us to report multidimensional rather than just single dimensional differences in behavior across locations. In order to build a broad Homo Economicus we conducted economic experiments in four dissimilar locations: Hangzhou, China; Niamey, Niger; Grenoble, France; Manhattan, Kansas; and West Lafayette, Indiana. Each subject completed an ultimatum bargaining game experiment, Voluntary Contribution Mechanism experiment, time preference experiment, and risk preference experiment. Results indicate economic behavior is not independent of location. Location differences are greatest for strategic interaction behavior and less prevalent for individual decision-making behavior.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI with number 19225.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea05:19225

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Keywords: Time preference; risk preference; voluntary contribution mechanism; Ultimatum bargaining game; cultural; China; France; Niger; Kansas; Indiana; US; Institutional and Behavioral Economics;

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  1. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & Melonie B. Williams, 2002. "Estimating Individual Discount Rates in Denmark: A Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1606-1617, December.
  2. Timothy Cason & Tatsuyoshi Saijo & Takehiko Yamato, 2002. "Voluntary Participation and Spite in Public Good Provision Experiments: An International Comparison," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 133-153, October.
  3. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  4. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
  5. Smith, Vernon L., 2002. "Constructivist and Ecological Rationality in Economics," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2002-7, Nobel Prize Committee.
  6. Elke U. Weber & Christopher Hsee, 1998. "Cross-Cultural Differences in Risk Perception, but Cross-Cultural Similarities in Attitudes Towards Perceived Risk," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(9), pages 1205-1217, September.
  7. Laura Schechter, 2007. "Theft, Gift-Giving, and Trustworthiness: Honesty Is Its Own Reward in Rural Paraguay," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1560-1582, December.
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