We conduct trust games in three villages in a northeastern Romanian commune. From 1775-1919, these villages were arbitrarily assigned to opposite sides of the Habsburg and Ottoman/Russian border despite being located seven kilometers apart. Russian and Ottoman Öscal institutions were more rapacious than Habsburg institutions, which may have eroded trust of outsiders (relative to co-villagers). Our design permits us to rigorously test this conjecture, and more generally, whether historically institutionalized cultural norms are transmitted intergenerationally. We Önd that participants on the Ottoman/Russian side are indeed less likely to trust outsiders but more likely to trust co-villagers.
Rubin, J., & Karaja, E. (2017). The cultural transmission of trust norms: Evidence from a lab in the field on a natural experiment. ESI Working Papers 17-08. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.chapman.edu/esi_working_papers/218/