A Cross-Cultural Study of Noblesse Oblige in Economic Decision-Making

Human Nature 24 (3):318-335 (2013)

A cornerstone of economic theory is that rational agents are self-interested, yet a decade of research in experimental economics has shown that economic decisions are frequently driven by concerns for fairness, equity, and reciprocity. One aspect of other-regarding behavior that has garnered attention is noblesse oblige, a social norm that obligates those of higher status to be generous in their dealings with those of lower status. The results of a cross-cultural study are reported in which marked noblesse oblige was observed on a reciprocal-contract decision-making task. Participants from seven countries that vary along hierarchical and individualist/collectivist social dimensions were more tolerant of non-reciprocation when they adopted a high-ranking perspective compared with a low-ranking perspective
Keywords Economic decision-making  Noblesse oblige  Reciprocity  Cross-cultural analysis  Power distance  Individualism  Collectivism
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DOI 10.1007/s12110-013-9169-9
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Behavioural Studies of Strategic Thinking in Games.Colin F. Camerer - 2003 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (5):225-231.

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