Other-Regarding Preferences and Other-Regarding Cheating – Experimental Evidence from China, Italy, Japan and the Netherlands
37 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2015 Last revised: 6 Jun 2015
Date Written: December 1, 2014
This study examines whether other-regarding preferences (ORPs) can predict cheating for different beneficiaries: cheating for-self, and other-regarding cheating for an in-group or an out-group member. The results show that, on the one hand, more prosocial subjects cheat less for self compared to more proself subjects. On the other hand, they cheat more for others. Moreover, the extent of cheating varies across the countries sampled in the study. The four countries were chosen based on the dimensions of individualism and the perceived level of corruption. While China and Japan are more collectivistic than Italy and the Netherlands (Hofstede et al., 2010), China and Italy are ranked as more corrupt than Japan and the Netherlands according to the Corruption Perception Index (Transparency International, 2010). The extent of cheating is found to vary by the dimension of the perceived level of corruption, and not by the cultural dimension of individualism. Compared to subjects from Japan and the Netherlands, the two countries that are ranked as less corrupt, subjects from China and Italy not only cheat more for self, but also cheat more for others.
Keywords: other-regarding preferences; prosociality; rule-breaking; embezzlement; self-regarding cheating; other-regarding cheating; cross-cultural experiments
JEL Classification: C91, D63, H26, K42
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