Status and Ethnicity in Vietnam: Evidence from Experimental Games

  • Tomomi Tanaka
  • Colin F. Camerer
Conference paper


A common simplification of economic theory assumes that people only care about maximizing their own material payoffs. However, charitable giving and recent findings in experimental economics demonstrate people will sometimes sacrifice their own payoffs to change the payoffs of others. Individuals tend to care about equity [4, 12], and try to maximize social welfare and help the least well off [1, 6, 8]. People are often willing to punish others who violate social norms even when punishment is costly to them [10, 11]. People frequently trust and reciprocate even when exchange is anonymous [2]. Thus, behavior seems to reflect a mixture of selfishness and “pro-sociality” toward non-kin to an extraordinary degree, compared to other species.


Experimental Game Inequality Aversion Coalition Game Material Payoff Group Favoritism 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag US 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arizona State UniversityTempe
  2. 2.California Institute of TechnologyPasadena

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