Warp, Weft, and Way

Chinese and Comparative Philosophy 中國哲學與比較哲學

Economists Find PRC vs Taiwan Differences in Confucian Values

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An economist colleague called my attention to a fascinating article recently posted as an NBER Working Paper: Liu, Meng, and Wang, “Confucianism and Preferences: Evidence from Lab Experiments in Taiwan and China.” Abstract below; link to paper here.

ABSTRACT: This paper investigates how Confucianism affects individual decision making in Taiwan and in China. We found that Chinese subjects in our experiments became less accepting of Confucian values, such that they became significantly more risk loving, less loss averse, and more impatient after being primed with Confucianism, whereas Taiwanese subjects became significantly less present-based and were inclined to be more trustworthy after being primed by Confucianism. Combining the evidence from the incentivized laboratory experiments and subjective survey measures, we found evidence that Chinese subjects and Taiwanese subjects reacted differently to Confucianism.

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