20 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2002
Date Written: June 10, 2002
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.
Keywords: Punctuality, coordination games, culture, norms
JEL Classification: Z10, C72, D29, O12
Suggested Citation: 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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=317621 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.317621