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Bridging the gender divide: An experimental analysis of group formation in African villages

  • Abigail Barr
  • Marleen Dekker
  • Marcel Fafchamps

Assortative matching occurs in many social contexts. We experimentally investigate gender assorting in sub-Saharan villages. In the experiment, co-villagers could form groups to share winnings in a gamble choice game. The extent to which grouping arrangements were or could be enforced and, hence, the distribution of interaction costs were exogenously varied. Thus, we can distinguish between the effects of homophily and interaction costs on the extent of observed gender assorting. We find that interaction costs matter - there is less gender assorting when grouping depends on trust. In part, this is due to trust based on co-memberships in gender-mixed religions.

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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2009-17.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2009-17
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