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Understanding Ethnic Identity in Africa: Evidence from the Implicit Association Test (IAT)

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  • Sara Lowes
  • Nathan Nunn
  • James A. Robinson
  • Jonathan Weigel

Abstract

We use a variant of the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to examine individuals' implicit attitudes towards various ethnic groups. Using a population from the Democratic Republic of Congo, we find that the IAT measures show evidence of an implicit bias in favor of one's own ethnicity. Individuals have implicit views of their own ethnic group that are more positive than their implicit views of other ethnic groups. We find this implicit bias to be quantitatively smaller than the (explicit) bias one finds when using self-reported attitudes about different ethnic groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Sara Lowes & Nathan Nunn & James A. Robinson & Jonathan Weigel, 2015. "Understanding Ethnic Identity in Africa: Evidence from the Implicit Association Test (IAT)," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 340-345, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:5:p:340-45
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20151075
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    as
    1. Sara Lowes & Nathan Nunn & James A. Robinson & Jonathan Weigel, 2015. "Understanding Ethnic Identity in Africa: Evidence from the Implicit Association Test (IAT)," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 340-345, May.
    2. Sara Lowes & Nathan Nunn & James A. Robinson & Jonathan L. Weigel, 2017. "The Evolution of Culture and Institutions: Evidence From the Kuba Kingdom," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 1065-1091, July.
    3. repec:hrv:faseco:33077827 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Lucia Corno & Eliana La Ferrara & Justine Burns, 2019. "Interaction, stereotypes and performance. Evidence from South Africa," IFS Working Papers W19/03, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    2. Marco Alfano, 2020. "Islamic law and investments in children: evidence from the Sharia introduction in Nigeria," Working Papers 2003, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    3. Nillesen, Eleonora & Grimm, Michael & Goedhuys, Micheline & Reitmann, Ann-Kristin & Meysonnat, Aline, 2021. "On the malleability of gender attitudes: Evidence from implicit and explicit measures in Tunisia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 138(C).
    4. Joan Costa-i-Font & Frank Cowell, 2015. "European Identity and Redistributive Preferences," CESifo Working Paper Series 5412, CESifo.
    5. Lars Ivar Oppedal Berge & Kjetil Bjorvatn & Simon Galle & Edward Miguel & Daniel N. Posner & Bertil Tungodden & Kelly Zhang, 2015. "How Strong are Ethnic Preferences?," NBER Working Papers 21715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Daniel J. Lee, 2018. "Does Implicit Bias Predict Dictator Giving?," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(4), pages 1-19, September.
    7. Jung Sakong, 2021. "Identifying Taste-Based Discrimination: Effect of Black Electoral Victories on Racial Prejudice and Economic Gaps," Working Paper Series WP-2021-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    8. Samuel Bazzi & Matthew Gudgeon, 2017. "The Political Boundaries of Ethnic Divisions," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2018-005, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    9. David Schindler & Mark Westcott, 2021. "Shocking Racial Attitudes: Black G.I.s in Europe," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(1), pages 489-520.
    10. Daniel J. Lee, 2016. "Racial bias and the validity of the Implicit Association Test," WIDER Working Paper Series 053, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Daniel J. Lee, 2016. "Racial bias and the validity of the Implicit Association Test," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2016-53, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. Kondylis,Florence & Legovini,Arianna & Vyborny,Kate & Zwager,Astrid Maria Theresia & Cardoso De Andrade,Luiza, 2020. "Demand for Safe Spaces : Avoiding Harassment and Stigma," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9269, The World Bank.
    13. Michela Carlana, 2019. "Implicit Stereotypes: Evidence from Teachers’ Gender Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(3), pages 1163-1224.
    14. Sara Lowes & Nathan Nunn & James A. Robinson & Jonathan L. Weigel, 2017. "The Evolution of Culture and Institutions: Evidence From the Kuba Kingdom," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 1065-1091, July.
    15. Marco Alfano, 2017. "Islamic Law and Investments in Children: Evidence from the Sharia Introduction in Nigeria," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1701, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    16. Crespin-Boucaud, Juliette, 2020. "Interethnic and interfaith marriages in sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 125(C).
    17. Sara Lowes & Nathan Nunn & James A. Robinson & Jonathan Weigel, 2015. "Understanding Ethnic Identity in Africa: Evidence from the Implicit Association Test (IAT)," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 340-345, May.
    18. Juliette Crespin-Boucaud, 2019. "Interethnic and interfaith marriages in sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers halshs-01834808, HAL.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty

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