Do Cultures Clash? Evidence from Cross-National Ultimatum Game Experiments
Economic, political and social globalisation entails increasing interaction between individuals of different cultures. While experimental economists have established differences between the behaviour within different cultures, the effect of cultural difference on cross-culture interactions has so far not been sufficiently explored. This paper reports on the results of experiments with ultimatum games designed for this purpose, in which Malaysian Chinese and UK subjects played opponents of their own as well as of the other culture. We find that cultural differences exist between the behaviour of Western and Asians interacting (a) within their own respective national groups, and (b) with members of the other group. This evidence is discussed in terms of the possibility of a 'clash of cultures'.
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