Leadership

Culture And Cooperation

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Executive Summary

Does the cultural background influence the success with which genetically unrelated individuals cooperate in social dilemma situations? In this paper the authors provide an answer by analyzing the data of Herrmann et al. (Science 2008, pp. 1362-1367), who study cooperation and punishment in sixteen subject pools from six different world cultures (as classified by Inglehart & Baker (American Sociological Review 2000, pp. 19-51)). They use analysis of variance to disentangle the importance of cultural background relative to individual heterogeneity and group-level differences in cooperation. They 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.

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