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Trait perceptions influence economic out-group bias: lab and field evidence from Vietnam

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  • Tomomi Tanaka

    () (World Bank)

  • Colin F. Camerer

    () (California Institute of Technology)

Abstract

Abstract Group favoritism is typically directed toward in-group members and against out-group members, but these cross-group effects often vary. Little is known about why group effects on economic choices vary. We use a survey method developed in social psychology to measure stereotyped attitudes of one group toward another. These attitudes are then associated with prosociality in five experimental games (also using an unusual amount of individual-level sociodemographic control). We present evidence from an artificial field experiment of a majority group with high status (Vietnamese) exhibiting no disfavoritism toward a lower-status out-group (Khmer) and typical disfavoritism to a second out-group (Chinese). Both Vietnamese and Chinese groups see the Khmer as warm but incompetent, attitudes which seem to activate empathy rather than contempt. The results suggest that measuring between-group stereotype attitudes can be used to predict the sign of cross-group favoritism in other natural settings.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomomi Tanaka & Colin F. Camerer, 2016. "Trait perceptions influence economic out-group bias: lab and field evidence from Vietnam," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(3), pages 513-534, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:19:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s10683-015-9452-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-015-9452-1
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    Cited by:

    1. Abigail Barr & Tom Lane & Daniele Nosenzo, 2015. "On the social appropriateness of discrimination," Discussion Papers 2015-25, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

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