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Cultural Values and Behavior in Dictator, Ultimatum, and Trust Games

By Sun-ki Chai, Dolgosuren Dorj, Min Sun Kim, Ming Liu and Katerina Sherstyuk


We build cultural profile of subjects using attitudinal questionnaires drawn from the World Value Survey to predict variations in behavior in dictator, ultimatum and trust experiments. 220 subjects were provided with pretest surveys, which were used to generate measures for each subject along grid and group, two very prominent and general cultural dimensions drawn from social/cultural anthropology. Grid was hypothesized to induce enforcement of social norms of reciprocity, and group to induce altruism towards other individuals. These subjects were then placed in ten decision rounds of various games in a stranger setting. Overall, we find that the group (altruism) attribute was positively and significantly correlated with the level of offers in the ultimatum game. The lowest acceptable amount was greater for subjects with higher grid (reciprocity) attribute. The high grid (reciprocal) subjects were also more willing to punish (designate less dollars) in the convex version of ultimatum game. Besides grid/group measures, we employ an alternative cultural instrument, the individualism/collectivism score. We find that the individualism score was negatively correlated with donations, while th

Topics: Cooperation, Two Player, Experiment, Culture, Survey
Year: 2014
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