Culture, Institutions and Civic Behavior

This project investigates why norms sustaining pro-social, civic-minded behavior vary across societies.  To what extent are norms “hard-coded” in deeply-held cultural values and beliefs, and to what extent can they be shaped by the immediate institutional environment?  This project addresses these questions through a series of cross-cultural behavioral experiments on corruption, whistleblowing and tax compliance. By holding institutions constant across different participant populations, these studies combine controlled laboratory experiments with comparative analysis, thereby allowing for the disentangling of cultural vs. institutional factors influencing individual behavior.  Overall, this line of research contributes to the growing consensus surrounding the importance of political development for the emergence of trust and cooperation.