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Trust and cooperation at a confluence of worlds: An experiment in Xinjiang, China

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  • Zhang, Zhe
  • Zhang, Xu
  • Putterman, Louis

Abstract

We study trust and willingness to cooperate among and between Uyghur and Han college students in Xinjiang, China. In our incentivized laboratory-style decision-making experiment, within and between group interactions occur among identifiable participants without traceability of individual decisions and without explicitly referencing ethnicity. We find that members of each ethnicity show favoritism towards those of their own ethnicity in both trust and cooperation and that communication enhances inter-ethnic cooperation significantly. Other results include that Uyghur and Han subjects behave differently in their willingness to cooperate relative to willingness to trust, consistent with a conjecture about cultural persistence and centuries-old differences in lifeway.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Zhe & Zhang, Xu & Putterman, Louis, 2019. "Trust and cooperation at a confluence of worlds: An experiment in Xinjiang, China," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 128-144.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:161:y:2019:i:c:p:128-144
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.03.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Zhe & Zhang, Xu & Putterman, Louis, 2019. "Trust and cooperation at a confluence of worlds: An experiment in Xinjiang, China," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 128-144.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trust; Cooperation; Experiment; Culture; Ethnicity; Discrimination; Xinjiang;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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