The direct and intergenerational behavioural consequences of a socio-political upheaval

Alison Booth, Xin Meng, Elliot Fan, Dandan Zhang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    In this paper we investigate the degree to which a major political upheaval can, through personal experience and intergenerational transmission, change behavioural norms. We focus on the 1966–1976 Cultural Revolution (CR), which seriously disrupted many aspects of Chinese society. In particular, we explore how individuals’ behavioural preferences are affected by within-group traumatic events experienced by their parents or grandparents. Using data from a laboratory experiment in conjunction with survey data, we find that individuals with parents or grandparents affected more severely by the CR are less trusting, less trustworthy, and less likely to choose to compete relative to their counterparts whose parents were not mistreated or mistreated at a lesser degree.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)931-958
    JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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