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Discrimination via Exclusion: An Experiment on Group Identity and Club Goods

Author

Listed:
  • Surajeet Chakravarty

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

  • Miguel A. Fonseca

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

Abstract

We study using laboratory experiments the impact on cooperation of allowing individuals to invest in group-specific, excludable public goods. We find that allowing different social groups to voluntarily contribute to such goods increases total contributions. However, a significant proportion of that contribution goes towards the group-specific club good, rather than the public good, even when the latter has higher financial returns to cooperation. We find significant evidence of in-group biases, which are manifested by positive in-group reciprocity. That is, club goods allow subjects to display their preferences for interaction with their in-group members, as well as in positive in-group reciprocity.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:exe:wpaper:1302
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    File URL: http://people.exeter.ac.uk/cc371/RePEc/dpapers/DP1302.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cinyabuguma, Matthias & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2005. "Cooperation under the threat of expulsion in a public goods experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1421-1435, August.
    2. McLeish, Kendra N. & Oxoby, Robert J., 2007. "Identity, Cooperation, and Punishment," IZA Discussion Papers 2572, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Chakravarty, Surajeet & Fonseca, Miguel A., 2014. "The effect of social fragmentation on public good provision: An experimental study," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 1-9.
    4. Maier-Rigaud, Frank P. & Martinsson, Peter & Staffiero, Gianandrea, 2010. "Ostracism and the provision of a public good: experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 387-395, March.
    5. Blackwell, Calvin & McKee, Michael, 2003. "Only for my own neighborhood?: Preferences and voluntary provision of local and global public goods," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 115-131, September.
    6. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    7. Kurtis Swope, 2002. "An Experimental Investigation of Excludable Public Goods," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 5(3), pages 209-222, December.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:103:y:2009:i:02:p:147-174_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-457, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kesternich, Martin & Goeschl, Timo & Lohse, Johannes & Römer, Daniel & Reif, Christiane, 2016. "An online experiment on cooperation and groupishness across urban districts," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145848, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. repec:eee:joepsy:v:63:y:2017:i:c:p:168-183 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Tom Lane, 2015. "Discrimination in the laboratory: a meta-analysis," Discussion Papers 2015-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    club goods; social identity; experiment;

    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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