【主讲人】Chew Soo Hong教授，National University of Singapore
Rice, Risk, Cooperation, and Gene x Culture Coevolution: A Gene for Social Efficiency
To investigate how culture induced by the irrigation-intensive rice cultivation influences people's risk taking and cooperative behavior, we make use of several individual choice tasks and behavioral games together with 1,104 university students recruited in Beijing. We find that cooperativeness proxied by the level of contribution in the public goods game varies positively with the proportion of rice cultivation in subjects' birth province. This finding is mutually replicated in an independent study by Zhou (2017). It is further corroborated by examining survey data relating to cooperativeness from the 26,000 strong China Family Panel Studies. At the same time, we find a positive relation between the proportion of rice cultivation and risk taking. This latter finding renders a novel perspective to the reported East-West differentiation in risk attitude and together with the link to cooperativeness points to an underlying social efficiency orientation. We further identify a genetic basis for both cooperativeness and risk taking. The dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) exon III coding region polymorphisms 2R genotypes are associated with increased cooperativeness as well as risk taking. Finally, we find evidence of a gene-culture coevolution across 12,000 years in favor of the 2R genotypes of DRD4 using province-level history on the introduction of rice farming.
Chew Soo Hong is professor and provost's chair at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He received his Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies from the University of British Columbia and has previously taught at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, University of California, Irvine, Johns Hopkins University and University of Arizona. Chew is co-director of NUS' lab for Behavioral x Biological Economics and the Social Sciences which aims to bring together genomics, neuroscience, decision theory, and behavioural and experimental economics to seek a deeper understanding of decision making at the neural and molecular levels. He is among the pioneers in axiomatic non-expected utility models and is a fellow of the Econometric Society which awarded him the Leonard J. Savage thesis prize. Chew has published in well-regarded journals in economics such as Econometrica, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Economic Theory, and Management Science. For his more recent works bringing biology to behavioral economics, Chew publishes in more biology-oriented journals including PNAS, PRSB, Neuron, and Neuroimage.