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Social identity, group composition and public good provision: an experimental study

  • Chakravarty, Surajeet
  • Fonseca, Miguel A.

Social fragmentation has been identified as a potential cause for the under-provision of public goods in developing nations, as well as in urban communities in developed countries such as the U.S. We study the effect of social fragmentation on public good provision using laboratory experiments. We create two artificial social groups in the lab and we assign subjects belonging to both groups to a public good game. The treatment variable is the relative size of each social group, which is a proxy for social fragmentation. We find that while higher social fragmentation leads to lower public good provision, this effect is short-lived. Furthermore, social homogeneity does not lead to higher levels of contributions.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/23115/1/MPRA_paper_23115.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 23115.

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Date of creation: 07 Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:23115
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  1. Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation In Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904, August.
  3. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  4. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," IEW - Working Papers 010, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 1999. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," Working Papers 9902, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  7. Gary Charness & Luca Rigotti & Aldo Rustichini, 2007. "Individual Behavior and Group Membership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1340-1352, September.
  8. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer & Rohini Somanathan, 2005. "History, Social Divisions, and Public Goods in Rural India," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 639-647, 04/05.
  9. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521894753 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-57, March.
  11. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  13. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2005. "Managing diversity by creating team identity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 371-392, November.
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