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The Effect of Social Fragmentation on Public Good Provision: an Experimental Study

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  • Surajeet Chakravarty

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

  • Miguel A. Fonseca

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

Abstract

We study the role of social identity in determining the impact of social frag- mentation on public good provision using laboratory experiments. We nd that as long as there is some degree of social fragmentation, increasing it leads to lower public good provision. This is mainly because the share of those who contribute fully to the public good diminishes with social fragmentation, while the share of free-riders is unchanged, which suggests social identity preferences drive our result, as opposed to self-interest. Importantly, socially homogeneous groups do not generate the highest contributions: some social diversity is actually welfare-improving. Finally, social fragmentation is felt differently for visible minorities, whose contributions are higher than minority groups whose actions are not identiable.

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File URL: http://people.exeter.ac.uk/cc371/RePEc/dpapers/DP1207.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Exeter University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 1207.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:exe:wpaper:1207

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Keywords: Social Identity; Public Goods; Social Fragmentation; Experiments.;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Weng, Qian, 2013. "Session Size and its Effect on Identity Building: Evidence from a public goods experiment," Working Papers in Economics 560, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Sergio Currarini & Friederike Menge, 2012. "Identity, Homophily and In-Group Bias," Working Papers 2012.37, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Surajeet Chakravarty & Miguel A. Fonseca, 2013. "Discrimination via Exclusion: An Experiment on Group Identity and Club Goods," Discussion Papers 1302, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  4. Drouvelis, Michalis & Nosenzo, Daniele, 2013. "Group identity and leading-by-example," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 414-425.

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