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Discrimination in the Provision of Social Services to the Poor: A Field Experimental Study

Author

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  • Juan Camilo Cardenas
  • Natalia Candelo
  • Alejandro Gaviria
  • Sandra Polania
  • Rajiv Sethi

Abstract

This paper uses an experimental field approach to investigate the pro-social preferences and behavior of social services providers and the behavior of potential beneficiaries in Bogota, Colombia. Field experiments were conducted using games including a newly designed Distributive Dictator Game in order to examine traits and mechanisms guiding pro-sociality. Replicating the patterns of previous studies, individuals showed a preference for fair outcomes, positive levels of trust and reciprocity, and willingness to punish unfair outcomes. The results provide evidence that the poor trigger more pro-social behavior from all citizens, including public servants, but the latter display strategic generosity. Additional observations include a bias in favor of women and households with more dependents, but discriminatory behavior against stigmatized groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Camilo Cardenas & Natalia Candelo & Alejandro Gaviria & Sandra Polania & Rajiv Sethi, 2008. "Discrimination in the Provision of Social Services to the Poor: A Field Experimental Study," Research Department Publications 3247, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3247
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alberto Chong & Hugo Ñopo, 2007. "Discrimination in Latin America: An Elephant in the Room?," Research Department Publications 4536, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    2. Ulrike Müller, 2012. "Pro-poor Service Delivery and Social Identity," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2012-055, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Juan Camilo Cárdenas, 2009. "Experiments in Environment and Development," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 157-182, September.
    4. Gustavo Adolfo García Cruz. & Luís Miguel Tovar Cuevas, 2006. "La Percepción del Estado de Salud: Una Mirada a las Regiones desde la Encuesta de Calidad de Vida 2003," Documentos de Trabajo - CIDSE 003972, Universidad del Valle - CIDSE.
    5. Abigail Barr & Andrew Zeitlin, 2011. "Conflict of interest as a barrier to local accountability," CSAE Working Paper Series 2011-13, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    6. María José Torres Herrera, 2020. "¿Interactuar o no interactuar? Un estudio experimental sobre expresiones de género," Documentos CEDE 018365, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    7. Cárdenas Juan Camilo & Casas-Casas Andrés & Méndez Nathalie Méndez, 2014. "The Hidden Face of Justice: Fairness, Discrimination and Distribution in Transitional Justice Processes," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 20(1), pages 33-60, January.
    8. Alberto Chong & Hugo Ñopo, 2007. "Discriminación en América Latina: Eso que (casi) todos vemos? (Discrimination in Latin America: An Elephant in the Room?)," Research Department Publications 4537, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    9. Müller, Ulrike, 2012. "Pro-poor Service Delivery and Social Identity," WIDER Working Paper Series 055, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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