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The impact of inter-group relationships on intra-group cooperation. A case study in rural India

  • Girard, Victoire
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    We study the impact of inter-group relationships, with inter-group distance, on intra-group cooperation behavior for Indian rural households. This is an application to a real world case of some experimental results of the identity economics literature. This literature offers insight of channels through which inter-group relationships affect in-group actions, with identification to the in-group, and the resulting norm enforcement behavior. We proxy distance with differences of returns to attributes to one traditionally low status group (the Scheduled Castes, SC, standing for traditionally so-called untouchables), compared to the rest of the population (reference group). We then study the effect of this distance variable on in-group cooperation. In our data set, a cooperative behavior corresponds to the involvement in a collective action for water supply. Inter-group relationships appear to have the expected effect on intra-group cooperation for SC and households: the worst inter-group relationships, the more intra-group cooperation.

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    Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 with number 32.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec11:32
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    1. Banerjee, Abhijit & Somanathan, Rohini, 2007. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 287-314, March.
    2. Karla Hoff & Priyanka Pandey, 2006. "Discrimination, Social Identity, and Durable Inequalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 206-211, May.
    3. Lorenz Goette & David Huffman & Stephan Meier, 2006. "The Impact of Group Membership on Cooperation and Norm Enforcement: Evidence Using Random Assignment to Real Social Groups," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 212-216, May.
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    5. Imran Rasul & Iwan Barankay & Orana Bandiera, 2005. "Cooperation in collective action," Natural Field Experiments 00211, The Field Experiments Website.
    6. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    7. 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.
    8. Banerjee, Abhijit & Iyer, Lakshmi & Somanathan, Rohini, 2007. "Public Action for Public Goods," CEPR Discussion Papers 6154, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Bardhan, Pranab & Ghatak, Maitreesh & Karaivanov, Alexander, 2007. "Wealth inequality and collective action," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(9), pages 1843-1874, September.
    10. Sethi, Rajiv & Somanathan, E, 2006. "A Simple Model of Collective Action," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 725-47, April.
    11. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2002. "Interpreting ethnic fragmentation effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 271-276, April.
    12. Helen Bernhard & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2006. "Group Affiliation and Altruistic Norm Enforcement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 217-221, May.
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