We explore generational and cultural effects within anticipatory psychological contracts (APCs) of young labour market entrants in Confucian East Asia (China, South Korea) and Central and Eastern Europe (Poland, Slovenia). We identify prevailing APC types and compare the two regions, paying special attention to Confucian Work Ethic (CWE). Using matched samples of 953 undergraduate business students, we challenge the assumed transactional APC type prevalence among young labour market entrants. Overall, the balanced APC type was highest for employee obligations and the relational APC type for employer obligations. While employee expectations regarding personal development (balanced APC) were universally high, CWE can explain higher performance orientation (balanced APC) on the employee obligation side and higher loyalty (relational APC) on the employer obligation side in Confucian East Asia. This study provides implications for attraction, management and retention of young talents internationally within a chopsticks management framework.