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Cross-Racial Envy and Underinvestment in South Africa

  • Daniel Haile
  • Abdolkarim Sadrieh
  • Harrie A. A Verbon

Trust games are employed to investigate the effect of heterogeneity in income and race on cooperation in South Africa. The amount of socio-economic information available to the subjects about their counterparts is varied. No significant behavioural differences are observed, when no such information is provided. However, when the information is available, it significantly affects individual trust behaviour. The low income subjects from both racial groups invest significantly less in partnerships with the high income subjects of the other racial group than in any other partnership. We attribute this behaviour to cross-racial envy, which on aggregate may lead to substantial underinvestment in the economy.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1657.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1657
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  1. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
  2. MICHAEL R. CARTER & Marco Castillo, 2002. "The Economic Impacts of Altruism, Trust and Reciprocity: An Experimental Approach to Social Capital," Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Staff Papers 448, Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Department.
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  10. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846, August.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Maluccio, John A. & Haddad, Lawrence James & May, Julian, 1999. "Social capital and income generation in South Africa, 1993-98," FCND discussion papers 71, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  12. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  13. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  14. Colin Camerer & Ernst Fehr & Herbert Gintis & Joseph Henrich & Richard McElreath & Robert Boyd & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "In search of homo economicus: Experiments in 15 small-scale societies," Artefactual Field Experiments 00068, The Field Experiments Website.
  15. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  16. Haddad, Lawrence & Maluccio, John A, 2003. "Trust, Membership in Groups, and Household Welfare: Evidence from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(3), pages 573-601, April.
  17. Abigail Barr, 2003. "Trust and expected trustworthiness: experimental evidence from zimbabwean villages," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 614-630, 07.
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