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Cultural values and behavior in dictator, ultimatum, trust games: an experimental study

Listed author(s):
  • Sun-Ki Chai


    (Department of Sociology, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa)

  • Dolgosuren Dorj


    (Department of Economics, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa)

  • Katerina Sherstyuk


    (Department of Economics, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa)

We explain laboratory behavior in the dictator, ultimatum and trust games based on two cultural dimensions adopted from social and cultural anthropology: grid and group, which translate into reciprocity and altruism, respectively, in such games. Altruism and reciprocity characteristics are measured for each individual using selected items from the World Values Survey. We find that altruism and reciprocity attributes systematically affect behavior. Subjects with higher altruism scores offer more, accept lower offers and return more. Subjects with higher reciprocity scores are more willing to punish violators of norms by rejecting offers more often, dividing fewer dollars and returning fewer dollars in the ultimatum and trust games.

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File Function: First Version, 2011
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Paper provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 201106.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 30 May 2011
Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:201106
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