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The Cultural Transmission of Trust Norms: Evidence from a Lab in the Field on a Natural Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Elira Karaja

    (Harriman Institute at Columbia University)

  • Jared Rubin

    (Chapman University)

Abstract

We conduct trust games in three villages in a northeastern Romanian commune. From 1775-1919, these villages were arbitrarily assigned to opposite sides of the Habsburg and Ottoman/Russian border despite being located seven kilometers apart. Russian and Ottoman scal institutions were more rapacious than Habsburg institutions, which may have eroded trust of outsiders (relative to co-villagers). Our design permits us to rigorously test this conjecture, and more generally, whether historically institutionalized cultural norms are transmitted intergenerationally. We nd that participants on the Ottoman/Russian side are indeed less likely to trust outsiders but more likely to trust co-villagers.

Suggested Citation

  • Elira Karaja & Jared Rubin, 2017. "The Cultural Transmission of Trust Norms: Evidence from a Lab in the Field on a Natural Experiment," Working Papers 17-08, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:17-08
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    File URL: https://www.chapman.edu/research/institutes-and-centers/economic-science-institute/_files/WorkingPapers/karaja-rubin-2017.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Iyigun, Murat & Rubin, Jared, 2017. "The Ideological Roots of Institutional Change," IZA Discussion Papers 10703, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    trust; trust game; culture; cultural transmission; natural experiment; eld experiment; laboratory experiment; norms; Romania; Austria; Ottoman Empire; Habsburg Empire;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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