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The Cultural Transmission of Trust Norms: Evidence from a Lab in the Field on a Natural Experiment

Elira Karaja and Jared Rubin ()

Working Papers from Chapman University, Economic Science Institute

Abstract: We conduct trust games in three villages in a northeastern Romanian commune. From 1775-1919, these villages were arbitrarily assigned to opposite sides of the Habsburg and Ottoman/Russian border despite being located seven kilometers apart. Russian and Ottoman scal institutions were more rapacious than Habsburg institutions, which may have eroded trust of outsiders (relative to co-villagers). Our design permits us to rigorously test this conjecture, and more generally, whether historically institutionalized cultural norms are transmitted intergenerationally. We nd that participants on the Ottoman/Russian side are indeed less likely to trust outsiders but more likely to trust co-villagers.

Keywords: trust; trust game; culture; cultural transmission; natural experiment; eld experiment; laboratory experiment; norms; Romania; Austria; Ottoman Empire; Habsburg Empire (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 C93 N33 O17 Z1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-cis, nep-cul, nep-evo, nep-exp and nep-soc
Date: 2017
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