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Cooperation in a Fragmented Society: Experimental Evidence on Syrian Refugees and Natives in Lebanon

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  • Michalis Drouvelis
  • Bilal Malaeb
  • Michael Vlassopoulos
  • Jackline Wahba

Abstract

Lebanon is the country with the highest density of refugees in the world, raising the question of whether the host and refugee populations can cooperate harmoniously. We conduct a lab-in-the-field experiment in Lebanon studying intra- and inter-group behavior of Syrian refugees and Lebanese nationals in a repeated public good game without and with punishment. We find that homogeneous groups, on average, contribute and punish significantly more than mixed groups. These patterns are driven by the Lebanese participants. Our findings suggest that it is equally important to provide adequate help to the host communities to alleviate any economic and social pressures.

Suggested Citation

  • Michalis Drouvelis & Bilal Malaeb & Michael Vlassopoulos & Jackline Wahba, 2019. "Cooperation in a Fragmented Society: Experimental Evidence on Syrian Refugees and Natives in Lebanon," CESifo Working Paper Series 8038, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8038
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Binnur Balkan & Semih Tumen, 2016. "Immigration and prices: quasi-experimental evidence from Syrian refugees in Turkey," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 657-686, July.
    2. Assaad, Ragui & Ginn, Thomas & Saleh, Mohamed, 2019. "Impact of Syrian Refugees on Education Outcomes in Jordan," CEPR Discussion Papers 14056, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    4. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    5. Balkan, Binnur & Tok, Elif Ozcan & Torun, Huzeyfe & Tumen, Semih, 2018. "Immigration, Housing Rents, and Residential Segregation: Evidence from Syrian Refugees in Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 11611, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Vojtech Bartos & Ian Levely, 2018. "Sanctioning and Trustworthiness across Ethnic Groups: Experimental Evidence from Afghanistan," CESifo Working Paper Series 7179, CESifo.
    7. Alix-Garcia, Jennifer & Walker, Sarah & Bartlett, Anne & Onder, Harun & Sanghi, Apurva, 2018. "Do refugee camps help or hurt hosts? The case of Kakuma, Kenya," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 66-83.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    refugees; public good game; cooperation; punishment;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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