Document Type


Publication Date



We study whether cross- and within-culture groups have different cooperation rates in the Prisoner’s Dilemma Game. In an experiment, university students in China and America engage in a single iteration of the game, complete belief elicitation tasks regarding their opponents’ play and take a survey including attitudinal measurements regarding their in- and out-group attitudes. Cooperation rates are higher across the two countries are higher in both cross-culture and in within-culture interactions, although not significantly. We also find that Chinese participants cooperate less than American ones. Further, female Chinese participants are more cooperative than Chinese male ones. In the cross-culture treatment, Chinese participants underestimate the likelihood of cooperative behavior of their American counterparts, while Americans overestimate the same likelihood of their Chinese counterparts. Our results also show that Chinese participants cooperate more conditionally than American ones. Finally, while we find some attitudinal in- and out-biases both they do not generate meaningful impact on cooperative behavior.


ESI Working Paper 21-14



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.