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Sanctioning and Trustworthiness across Ethnic Groups: Experimental Evidence from Afghanistan

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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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7179
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
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    6. Andrew Beath & Fotini Christia & Georgy Egorov & Ruben Enikolopov, 2014. "Electoral Rules and the Quality of Politicians: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan," NBER Working Papers 20082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

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    2. Drouvelis, Michalis & Malaeb, Bilal & Vlassopoulos, Michael & Wahba, Jackline, 2019. "Cooperation in a Fragmented Society: Experimental Evidence on Syrian Refugees and Natives in Lebanon," IZA Discussion Papers 12858, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Drouvelis, Michalis & Malaeb, Bilal & Vlassopoulos, Michael & Wahba, Jackline, 2019. "Cooperation in a Fragmented Society: Experimental Evidence on Syrian Refugees and Natives in Lebanon," IZA Discussion Papers 12858, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    sanctions; cooperation; crowding out; moral incentives; ethnicity; Afghanistan;
    All these keywords.

    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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