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Culture and cooperation

Simon Gächter, Benedikt Herrmann & Christian Thoeni

abstract Does the cultural background influence the success with which genetically unrelated individuals cooperate in social dilemma situations? In this paper, we provide an answer by analysing the data of Herrmann et al. (2008a), who studied cooperation and punishment in 16 subject pools from six different world cultures (as classified by Inglehart & Baker (2000)). We use analysis of variance to disentangle the importance of cultural background relative to individual heterogeneity and grouplevel differences in cooperation. We find that culture has a substantial influence on the extent of cooperation, in addition to individual heterogeneity and group-level differences identified by previous research. The significance of this result is that cultural background has a substantial influence on cooperation in otherwise identical environments. This is particularly true in the presence of punishment opportunities
   
type journal paper
   
keywords human cooperation; punishment; culture; experimental public good games
   
language English
kind of paper journal article
date of appearance 2-8-2010
journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences
publisher Royal Society Publishing (London UK)
ISSN 0962-8436
ISSN (online) 1471-2970
DOI 10.1098/rstb.2010.0135
volume of journal 365
number of issue 1553
page(s) 2651-2661
review double-blind review
   
citation Gächter, S., Herrmann, B., & Thoeni, C. (2010). Culture and cooperation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 365(1553), 2651-2661, DOI:10.1098/rstb.2010.0135.