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The Effect of Social Fragmentation on Public Good Provision: an Experimental Study

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  • Surajeet Chakravarty

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

  • Miguel A. Fonseca

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

Abstract

We study the role of social identity in determining the impact of social frag- mentation on public good provision using laboratory experiments. We nd that as long as there is some degree of social fragmentation, increasing it leads to lower public good provision. This is mainly because the share of those who contribute fully to the public good diminishes with social fragmentation, while the share of free-riders is unchanged, which suggests social identity preferences drive our result, as opposed to self-interest. Importantly, socially homogeneous groups do not generate the highest contributions: some social diversity is actually welfare-improving. Finally, social fragmentation is felt differently for visible minorities, whose contributions are higher than minority groups whose actions are not identiable.

Suggested Citation

  • Surajeet Chakravarty & Miguel A. Fonseca, 2012. "The Effect of Social Fragmentation on Public Good Provision: an Experimental Study," Discussion Papers 1207, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:exe:wpaper:1207
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    1. repec:bla:jpbect:v:19:y:2017:i:1:p:244-263 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Surajeet Chakravarty & Miguel A. Fonseca, 2013. "Discrimination via Exclusion: An Experiment on Group Identity and Club Goods," Discussion Papers 1302, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
    3. Chakravarty, Surajeet & Fonseca, Miguel A. & Ghosh, Sudeep & Marjit, Sugata, 2016. "Religious fragmentation, social identity and cooperation: Evidence from an artefactual field experiment in India," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 265-279.
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    6. Bicskei, Marianna & Lankau, Matthias & Bizer, Kilian, 2014. "How peer-punishment affects cooperativeness in homogeneous and heterogeneous groups: A public goods experiment with social identity," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 200, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    7. Fabio Galeotti & Daniel Zizzo, 2014. "What happens if you single out? An experiment," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 43(3), pages 703-729, October.
    8. Frédéric Gaspart & Pierre Pecher, 2015. "Ethnic inclusiveness of the central state government and economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2015011, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    9. Tjaša Bjedov & Simon Lapointe & Thierry Madiès & Marie Villeval, 2018. "Does decentralization of decisions increase the stability of large groups?," Working Papers halshs-01691475, HAL.
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    11. Weng, Qian, 2013. "Session Size and its Effect on Identity Building: Evidence from a public goods experiment," Working Papers in Economics 560, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
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    13. Dimitrova-Grajzl Valentina & Grajzl Peter & Guse A. Joseph & Smith J. Taylor, 2016. "Racial Group Affinity and Religious Giving: Evidence from Congregation-Level Panel Data," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 689-725, April.
    14. Barnes, Michele L. & Arita, Shawn & Kalberg, Kolter & Leung, PingSun, 2017. "When does it pay to cooperate? Strategic information exchange in the harvest of common-pool fishery resources," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 1-11.
    15. repec:bla:indres:v:56:y:2017:i:4:p:555-604 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social Identity; Public Goods; Social Fragmentation; Experiments.;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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