Ethnolinguistic Diversity and the Provision of Public Goods: Experimental Evidence from South Africa
This paper utilises techniques in experimental economics to investigate the impact of racial identity on the provision of public goods. A large sample of Black and White undergraduate University students were recruited to participate in public goods games, where the racial composition of the groups was varied to include All White groups, All Black groups and mixed race groups (comprising Black and White students). The results show that contrary to predictions from social identity theory, racial homogeneity in a group does not uniformly predict higher contributions to the public pool. Rather, it would appear that observable racial identity may convey information about extensive heterogeneity as opposed to homogeneity, especially where race is highly correlated with diversity in other dimensions, such as ethnolinguistic diversity. In accordance with the established macroeconometric literature on the provision of public goods, the results presented in this study show that contributions to the public good are indeed increasing in the level of trust in a group, and declining in the extent of ethnolinguistic diversity and socio-economic need in the group. Moreover, while communication has a large and significant effect on contributions to the public pool, patterns of communication are a ected by the racial composition of the group, with Black students appearing to be more responsive to communications made by White colleagues as opposed to Black colleagues. Hence, communication is not effective at sustaining co-operation in racially homogenous Black groups, possibly because communication in these groups allows participants to verify the greater diversity on other dimensions amongst group members.
|Date of creation:||2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Private BagX3, Rondebosch, 7701, Cape Town|
Phone: +27 21 650 5696
Fax: +27 21 650 5697
Web page: http://www.saldru.uct.ac.za/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Nancy Buchan & Rachel Croson, 1999. "Gender and Culture: International Experimental Evidence from Trust Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 386-391, May.
- Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1995.
"On the Number and Size of Nations,"
NBER Working Papers
5050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Chan, Kenneth S. & Mestelman, Stuart & Muller, R. Andrew, 2008.
"Voluntary Provision of Public Goods,"
Handbook of Experimental Economics Results,
- Kenneth S. Chan & Stuart Mestelman & R. Andrew Muller, 1998. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," McMaster Experimental Economics Laboratory Publications 1998-02, McMaster University.
- Sheryl Ball & Catherine Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & William Zame, 2001. "Status in Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 161-188.
- Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
- Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
- George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
- Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991.
"Distributive Politics and Economic Growth,"
NBER Working Papers
3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1989.
"External debt, capital flight and political risk,"
Journal of International Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 27(3-4), pages 199-220, November.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1988. "External Debt, Capital Flight and Political Risk," UCLA Economics Working Papers 538, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Alesina, Alberto F & Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "External Debt, Capital Flight and Political Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 253, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1988. "External Debt, Capital Flight and Political Risk," NBER Working Papers 2610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1989. "External Debt, Capital Flight and Political Risk," Scholarly Articles 4553019, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "The Determinants of Trust," NBER Working Papers 7621, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kenneth S. Chan & Stuart Mestelman & Rob Moir & R. Andrew Muller, 1998.
"Heterogeneity and the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods,"
Department of Economics Working Papers
1998-04, McMaster University.
- Kenneth Chan & Stuart Mestelman & Robert Moir & R. Muller, 1999. "Heterogeneity and the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 5-30, August.
- George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
- Cardenas, Juan-Camilo, 2003. "Real wealth and experimental cooperation: experiments in the field lab," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 263-289, April.
- Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996.
"Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions,"
536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
- William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:72. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Alison Siljeur)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.