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Sanctioning and Trustworthiness across Ethnic Groups: Experimental Evidence from Afghanistan

Author

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  • Vojtech Bartos
  • Ian Levely

Abstract

We show how sanctioning is more effective in increasing cooperation between groups than within groups. We study this using a trust game among ethnically diverse subjects in Afghanistan. In the experiment, we manipulate i) sanctioning and ii) ethnic identity. We find that sanctioning increases trustworthiness in cross-ethnic interactions, but not when applied by a co-ethnic. While we find higher in-group trustworthiness in the absence of sanctioning, the availability and use of the sanction closes this gap. This has important implications for understanding the effect of institutions in developing societies where ethnic identity is salient. Our results suggest that formal institutions for enforcing cooperation are more effective when applied between, rather than within, ethnic groups, due to behavioral differences in how individuals respond to sanctions.

Suggested Citation

  • Vojtech Bartos & Ian Levely, 2018. "Sanctioning and Trustworthiness across Ethnic Groups: Experimental Evidence from Afghanistan," CESifo Working Paper Series 7179, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7179
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp7179.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Beekman, Gonne & Cheung, Stephen L. & Levely, Ian, 2017. "The effect of conflict history on cooperation within and between groups: Evidence from a laboratory experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 168-183.
    2. Merima Ali & Odd-Helge Fjeldstad & Boqian Jiang & Abdulaziz B Shifa, 2019. "Colonial Legacy, State-building and the Salience of Ethnicity in Sub-Saharan Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(619), pages 1048-1081.
    3. Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilová & Barbara Pertold-Gebicka, 2014. "Parental background and other-regarding preferences in children," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(1), pages 24-46, March.
    4. Michal Bauer & Nathan Fiala & Ian Levely, 2018. "Trusting Former Rebels: An Experimental Approach to Understanding Reintegration after Civil War," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(613), pages 1786-1819, August.
    5. Andrew Beath & Fotini Christia & Georgy Egorov & Ruben Enikolopov, 2016. "Electoral Rules and Political Selection: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 932-968.
    6. repec:wly:emetrp:v:85:y:2017:i::p:1065-1091 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. 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.
    8. Ali, Merima & Fjeldstad, Odd-Helge & Jiang, Boqian & Shifa, Abdulaziz B, 2018. "Colonial Legacy, State-building and the Salience of Ethnicity in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 14479, Institute of Development Studies, International Centre for Tax and Development.
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    1. repec:zbw:medamr:182240 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sanctions; cooperation; crowding out; moral incentives; ethnicity; Afghanistan;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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