Cultural differences in bargaining behavior: India, Argentina, and the United States

Daniel Druckman, Alan A. Benton, Faizunisa Ali, J. Susana Bagur

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56 Citations (Scopus)


The bargaining behavior of children and adolescents from three cultures on a competitive resource distribution task was examined. Subjects played a game in which they alternated suggestions until they agreed on a distribution. The strongest effects were those obtained for culture. Indian bargainers negotiated longer, were more competitive, were more symmetrical in their competitiveness, and had larger discrepancies in their settlements than did either the Argentineans or the Americans. Americans were most compromising in their trial-by-trial offers and in their final outcome, suggesting a convergent bargaining style. Additional data suggest that the bargaining differences may reflect differences among the cultures in their general orientations, with Indians emphasizing both competitiveness and need derived from a “view of the world” that is based on scarcity or limited resources. Other findings indicate that the effects of age, sex, and experimental condition vary among cultures. An age effect was obtained only in India, where older bargainers negotiated longer and rejected a higher proportion of their opponent's offers than did younger bargainers. Male bargainers were more competitive than females in India and the United States, but a trend in the opposite direction was obtained for Argentinean bargainers. And a different pattern of condition effects for length of negotiations was obtained for the three cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-452
Number of pages40
JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1976
Externally publishedYes


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