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Agent-centered models usually consider only individual-level variables in calculations of economic costs and benefits. There has been little consideration of social or cultural history on shaping payoffs in ways that impact decisions. To examine the role of local expectations on economic behavior, we explore whether village affiliation accounts for the variation in dictator game offers among the Tsimane of the Bolivian Amazon independently of other factors that could confound such an effect. Our analysis shows that significant differences in altruistic giving exist among villages, village patterns are recognized by residents, and offers likely reflect variation in social expectations rather than stable differences in norms of fairness.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, volume 67, issue 3-4, in 2008.

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