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Accents, Race and Discrimination: Evidence from a Trust Game

Author

Listed:
  • Ece Yagman

    () (SALDRU, the School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

  • Malcolm Keswell

    () (SALDRU, School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

Abstract

We investigate discrimination according to accent and race on trust behaviour. Proposers were randomly paired with responders of the same/different race, and asked to play the trust game after looking at a photograph and hearing a 10 second audio clip of the responders reading a standardised script in English. This allows us to check for within and across-group favouritism in both race and accentedness. We find that accentedness is a statistically significant predictor of trust and is strongly non-linear in the race of the paired subjects for males but not for females. In the case of males, offers decrease by 11.3% if the responder has a mother-tongue English accent and does not share the same race as the proposer, but increases by about 6.6% if there is racial similarity. This effect is especially pronounced for Black males who are paired with other Black males: offers are 19.5% higher if responders have a mother-tongue English accent. By contrast, females in general seem less sensitive to the signal package. These large gender differences are not because men behave any more strategically than women.

Suggested Citation

  • Ece Yagman & Malcolm Keswell, 2015. "Accents, Race and Discrimination: Evidence from a Trust Game," SALDRU Working Papers 158, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  • Handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:158
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Experiments; Trust; Accents; Discrimination; Race;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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