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Trust, Ethnic Diversity, and Personal Contact: A Field Experiment

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  • Henning Finseraas
  • Torbjørn Hanson
  • Åshild A. Johnsen
  • Andreas Kotsadam
  • Gaute Torsvik

Abstract

We study how close personal contact with minorities affects in-group and out-group trust in a field experiment in the armed forces. Soldiers are randomly assigned to rooms with or without ethnic minorities. At the end of the recruit period, we measure trust by using a trust game. Results indicate that close personal contact with minorities increases trust towards a generic immigrant. We replicate the result that individuals coming from more ethnically diverse areas trust minorities less, but random assignment to interact with minority soldiers removes this negative correlation. We conclude that social integration involving personal contact can reduce negative effects of ethnic diversity on trust.

Suggested Citation

  • Henning Finseraas & Torbjørn Hanson & Åshild A. Johnsen & Andreas Kotsadam & Gaute Torsvik, 2019. "Trust, Ethnic Diversity, and Personal Contact: A Field Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 7515, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7515
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    2. Florio, Erminia, 2020. "Contact vs. Information: What shapes attitudes towards immigration? Evidence from an experiment in schools," GLO Discussion Paper Series 699, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Maiti, Surya Nath & Pakrashi, Debayan & Saha, Sarani & Smyth, Russell, 2020. "Don’t judge a book by its cover: The role of intergroup contact in reducing prejudice in conflict settings," GLO Discussion Paper Series 549, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Zou, Ying & Zhong, Zhuoming & Luo, Jia, 2021. "Ethnic diversity, investment efficiency, mediating roles of trust and agency cost," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 410-420.
    5. Polipciuc, Maria & Cörvers, Frank & Montizaan, Raymond, 2021. "Peers' Race in Adolescence and Voting Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 14140, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Simon Burgess & Lucinda Platt, 2018. "Inter-ethnic Relations of Teenagers in England’s Schools: the Role of School and Neighbourhood Ethnic Composition," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 18/699, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    7. Henrik Andersson & Sirus H. Dehdari, 2020. "Workplace Contact and Support for Anti-Immigration Parties," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 2006, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    8. Jakina Debnam Guzman & Marie Christelle Mabeu & Roland Pongou, 2021. "Identity During a Pandemic: COVID-19 and Ethnic Divisions in the United States," Working Papers 2101E Classification-I14,, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    9. Simon Burgess & Lucinda Platt, 2018. "Inter-ethnic relations of teenagers in England’s schools: the role of school and neighbourhood ethnic composition," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1807, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.

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