Discrimination in the provision of social services to the poor: a field experimental study
AbstractWe use an experimental field approach to understand better the pro-social preferences and behavior of both individuals involved in the provision of social services (public servants) and the behavior of those potential beneficiaries, the poor. We conducted field experiments using the Dictator, Ultimatum, Trust and Third Party Punishment games, and a newly designed Distributive Dictator Game. With these, we want to understand the traits and mechanisms that guide pro-sociality including altruism, reciprocal altruism, reciprocity, trust, fairness, inequity aversion, and altruistic (social) punishment. We recruited in Bogotá, Colombia more than 500 public servants and beneficiaries from welfare programs associated with health, education, childcare and nutrition. The overall results replicate the patterns of previous studies with these experimental designs, that is, individuals showed a preference for fair outcomes, positive levels of trust and reciprocity, and willingness to punish -at a personal cost, unfair outcomes if against themselves or if against third parties. By using more information about our participants we were able however to explain the observed variations in these behaviors. The results provide evidence that the poor trigger more pro-social behavior from all citizens including public servants, but the latter show more strategic generosity by graduating their pro-social behavior towards the poor depending on attributes of the beneficiaries or recipients of offers in these games. We observed a bias in favor of women and households with more number of dependents, but discriminatory behavior against particularly stigmatized groups in society such as ex-combatants from the political conflict, or street recyclers2.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE in its series DOCUMENTOS CEDE with number 003885.
Date of creation: 14 Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Other versions of this item:
- Juan Camilo Cardenas & Natalia Candelo & Alejandro Gaviria & Sandra Polania & Rajiv Sethi, 2008. "Discrimination in the Provision of Social Services to the Poor: A Field Experimental Study," Research Department Publications 3247, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
- Branas-Garza, Pablo, 2006.
"Poverty in dictator games: Awakening solidarity,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 306-320, July.
- Pablo Brañas-Garza, 2003. "Poverty in Dictator Games: Awakening Solidarity," IESA Working Papers Series 0303, Institute for Social Syudies of Andalusia - Higher Council for Scientific Research.
- Pablo Brañas Garza, 2003. "Poverty in Dictator Games: Awakening Solidarity," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2003/50, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
- Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004.
"Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
- Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2003. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 9873, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Christina M. Fong & Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2005. "Behavioural Motives for Income Redistribution," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 38(3), pages 285-297, 09.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
- Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 2003. "Altruistic Punishment in Humans," Microeconomics 0305006, EconWPA.
- Jeffery Carpenter & Juan Camilo Cardenas, 2006.
"Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from field labs in the developing world,"
Middlebury College Working Paper Series
0616, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
- Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey Carpenter, 2008. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," The Journal of Development Studies, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 311-338.
- Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
- Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, .
"Third Party Punishment and Social Norms,"
IEW - Working Papers
106, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2000.
"Walrasian Economics In Retrospect,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1411-1439, November.
- Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226041162, Winter.
- Forsythe Robert & Horowitz Joel L. & Savin N. E. & Sefton Martin, 1994. "Fairness in Simple Bargaining Experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 347-369, May.
- Gustavo Adolfo García Cruz. & Luís Miguel Tovar Cuevas, 2006. "La Percepción del Estado de Salud: Una Mirada a las Regiones desde la Encuesta de Calidad de Vida 2003," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO-CIDSE 003972, UNIVERSIDAD DEL VALLE - CIDSE.
- Alberto Chong & Hugo Ñopo, 2007. "Discriminación en América Latina: Eso que (casi) todos vemos? (Discrimination in Latin America: An Elephant in the Room?)," Research Department Publications 4537, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- Abigail Barr & Andrew Zeitlin, 2011.
"Conflict of interest as a barrier to local accountability,"
Economics Series Working Papers
WPS/2011-13, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Abigail Barr & Andrew Zeitlin, 2011. "Conflict of interest as a barrier to local accountability," CSAE Working Paper Series 2011-13, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- Alberto Chong & Hugo Ñopo, 2007. "Discrimination in Latin America: An Elephant in the Room?," Research Department Publications 4536, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- Juan Camilo C�rdenas, 2009. "Experiments in Environment and Development," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 157-182, 09.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.