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

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  • Chakravarty, Surajeet
  • Fonseca, Miguel A.

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Chakravarty, Surajeet & Fonseca, Miguel A., 2010. "Social identity, group composition and public good provision: an experimental study," MPRA Paper 23115, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:23115
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/23115/1/MPRA_paper_23115.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904.
    2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    3. 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.
    4. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284.
    5. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2001. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 500-528, June.
    6. Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753, December.
    7. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    8. 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.
    9. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
    10. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    11. 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.
    12. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-457, March.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Social diversity – the good news
      by Nicholas Gruen in Club Troppo on 2010-06-22 07:42:22

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    Cited by:

    1. Ben Greiner & Werner Güth & Ro’i Zultan, 2012. "Social communication and discrimination: a video experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(3), pages 398-417, September.
    2. Fabio Galeotti & Daniel John Zizzo, 2012. "Trust and trustworthiness with singleton groups," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 12-03, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social Identity; Public Goods; Social Fragmentation; Experiments.;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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