Bridging Communal Divides: Separation, Patronage, Integration
We analyze conflicts between communities. A community-specific public good, to which members make voluntary contributions, defines communities. Some, but not all, members of one community may contribute towards another community’s public good. Such ‘bridging’ contributions will not occur when communities have relatively equal wealth endowments. ‘Separation’ of communities in this sense provides incentives to individuals to support confiscation of the other community’s wealth, thus generating communal conflicts. Individuals’ incentives to support inter-community conflicts can be moderated by the presence of a public good common to both communities. Such moderation however occurs only when communities are separated at the level of public goods constitutive of a community’s self-identity. Thus the presence of meta-communal public goods and relative wealth equality across communities are both necessary to mitigate communal conflict.
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