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http://ssrn.com/abstract=317621
 
 

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Punctuality: A Cultural Trait as Equilibrium


Kaushik Basu


Cornell University - Department of Economics; Harvard University - Harvard Institute of Economic Research; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); World Bank

Jorgen W. Weibull


Boston University - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

June 10, 2002

MIT Department of Economics Working Paper No. 02-26

Abstract:     
A people's culture, norms and habits are important determinants not just of the quality of social life but of economic progress and growth. In this paper we take the view that while the importance of culture is undeniable, the innateness of culture is not. We work here with a single example and demonstrate how a human trait which is widely believed to be cultural is at the same time a matter of choice. The example that we shall work with concerns punctuality. We show that punctuality may be simply an equilibrium response of individuals to what they expect others to do. The same society can get caught in a punctual equilibrium or a non-punctual equilibrium.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 20

Keywords: Punctuality, coordination games, culture, norms

JEL Classification: Z10, C72, D29, O12

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Date posted: June 28, 2002  

Suggested Citation

Basu, Kaushik and Weibull, Jorgen W., Punctuality: A Cultural Trait as Equilibrium (June 10, 2002). MIT Department of Economics Working Paper No. 02-26. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=317621 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.317621

Contact Information

Kaushik Basu (Contact Author)
Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )
414 Uris Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7601
United States
607-255-2525 (Phone)
607-255-2818 (Fax)
Harvard University - Harvard Institute of Economic Research ( email )
Department of Economics
200 Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-8161 (Phone)
617-495-8570 (Fax)
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
World Bank
1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States
Jorgen W. Weibull
Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )
270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States
CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)
Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany
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