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.
Gurven, M., Zanolini, A., & Schniter, E. (2008). Culture sometimes matters: intra-cultural variation in pro-social behavior among Tsimane Amerindians. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 67(3-4), 587–607. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2007.09.005
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