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

  • Surajeet Chakravarty

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

  • Miguel A. Fonseca

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

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.

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File URL: http://people.exeter.ac.uk/cc371/RePEc/dpapers/DP1302.pdf
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Paper provided by Exeter University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 1302.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:exe:wpaper:1302
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Web page: http://business-school.exeter.ac.uk/about/departments/economics/

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  1. 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.
  2. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  3. Matthias Cinyabuguma & Talbot Page & Louis Putterman, 2004. "Cooperation Under the Threat of Expulsion in a Public Goods Experiment," Working Papers 2004-05, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Frank P. Maier-Rigaud & Peter Martinsson & Gianandrea Staffiero, 2005. "Ostracism and the Provision of a Public Good, Experimental Evidence," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2005_24, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  6. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-57, March.
  7. Kurtis Swope, 2002. "An Experimental Investigation of Excludable Public Goods," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 209-222, December.
  8. McLeish, Kendra N. & Oxoby, Robert J., 2007. "Identity, Cooperation, and Punishment," IZA Discussion Papers 2572, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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