Journal article

Cultural integration: Experimental evidence of convergence in immigrants' preferences

Lisa Cameron, Nisvan Erkal, Lata Gangadharan, Marina Zhang

JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC BEHAVIOR & ORGANIZATION | ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV | Published : 2015

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, risk attitudes, and preferences for competition. We find that greater exposure to Western culture is in general associated with a convergence to Western norms of behaviour. Specifically, the share of education an individual receives in the West has a strong negative impact on altruism, trust towards individuals of Chinese ethnicity, and trustworthiness, while it has a significant and positive impact on trust towards Australians. ..

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Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Van Chen, Catherine Eckel, Sherry Li, Tom Wilkening, participants at the Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association (2014), and seminar participants at Monash University, University College London, and Victoria University of Wellington for helpful comments. Edwin Ip Boon Han Koh, Joseph Vecci and Kevin Wu have provided excellent research assistance. We thank the Australian Research Council and the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne for their financial support.