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Cultural Integration: Experimental Evidence of Changes in Immigrants' Preferences

Author

Listed:
  • Cameron, Lisa A.

    () (University of Melbourne)

  • Erkal, Nisvan

    () (University of Melbourne)

  • Gangadharan, Lata

    () (Monash University)

  • Zhang, Marina

    (University of Melbourne)

Abstract

Cultural traits play a significant role in the determination of economic outcomes and institutions. This paper presents evidence from laboratory experiments on the cultural integration of individuals of Chinese ethnicity in Australia, focusing on social preferences, preferences for competition, and risk attitudes. We show that the greater the share of education an individual receives in the West, the more they behave like Western subjects and the less they behave according to the norms of their Eastern heritage. Increased exposure to Western education has a strong negative impact on altruism, trust, and trustworthiness. For risk and competitive preferences, our results are gender-specific. These results have important implications for policy making and institution building in multi-cultural societies.

Suggested Citation

  • Cameron, Lisa A. & Erkal, Nisvan & Gangadharan, Lata & Zhang, Marina, 2012. "Cultural Integration: Experimental Evidence of Changes in Immigrants' Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 6467, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6467
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Uri Gneezy & Kenneth L. Leonard & John A. List, 2009. "Gender Differences in Competition: Evidence From a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1637-1664, September.
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    5. de Palo, Domenico & Faini, Riccardo & Venturini, Alessandra, 2006. "The Social Assimilation of Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 2439, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Toman Barsbai & Hillel Rapoport & Andreas Steinmayr & Christoph Trebesch, 2017. "The Effect of Labor Migration on the Diffusion of Democracy: Evidence from a Former Soviet Republic," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 36-69, July.
    2. Zhiling Wang & Thomas De Graaff & Peter Nijkamp, 2016. "Cultural Diversity and Cultural Distance as Choice Determinants of Migration Destination," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 176-200, June.
    3. Zhiling Wang & Thomas de Graaff & Peter Nijkamp, 2014. "The choice of migration destinations: cultural diversity versus cultural distance," ERSA conference papers ersa14p1147, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cultural integration; cultural transmission; cultural diversity; cultural assimilation; acculturation; immigration; social preferences; preferences for competition; risk aversion;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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