Cultural Integration: Experimental Evidence of Changes in Immigrants' Preferences

41 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2012

See all articles by Lisa A. Cameron

Lisa A. Cameron

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; J-PAL

Nisvan Erkal

University of Melbourne - Faculty of Business and Economics

Lata Gangadharan

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Marina Zhang

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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, preferences for competition, and risk attitudes. We show that the greater the share of education an individual receives in the West, the more they behave like Western subjects and the less they behave according to the norms of their Eastern heritage. Increased exposure to Western education has a strong negative impact on altruism, trust, and trustworthiness. For risk and competitive preferences, our results are gender-specific. These results have important implications for policy making and institution building in multi-cultural societies.

Keywords: cultural integration, cultural transmission, cultural diversity, cultural assimilation, acculturation, immigration, social preferences, preferences for competition, risk aversion

JEL Classification: C91, J15, D64, D03

Suggested Citation

Cameron, Lisa A. and Erkal, Nisvan and Gangadharan, Lata and Zhang, Marina, Cultural Integration: Experimental Evidence of Changes in Immigrants' Preferences. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6467, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2039653 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2039653

Lisa A. Cameron (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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J-PAL ( email )

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France

HOME PAGE: http://www.povertyactionlab.org/cameron

Nisvan Erkal

University of Melbourne - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Victoria, 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 3307 (Phone)
+61 3 8344 6899 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.nisvanerkal.net

Lata Gangadharan

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Victoria, 3010
Australia
+61 3 9344 5408 (Phone)
61 3 8344 6899 (Fax)

Marina Zhang

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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