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In-group bias in prisons

Shiqi Guo, Pinghan Liang () and Erte Xiao ()

Games and Economic Behavior, 2020, vol. 122, issue C, 328-340

Abstract: We conducted a field experiment in a typical Chinese prison to examine the in-group bias of groups with a stigmatized identity. Inmates were given the opportunity to work for a charity. We found evidence of both pro-sociality and in-group favoritism among inmates. In particular, inmates increased their efforts when their output contributed to a charity and worked even harder when the beneficiary of their efforts have a prisoner identity. However, inmates who have been in prisons for a longer period put in relatively less effort in helping a beneficiary who is a prisoner. This negative correlation was not observed when the beneficiary was an outsider. These findings highlight the importance of social interaction in the formation of in-group bias.

Keywords: In-group bias; Group identity; Social interaction; Pro-social preference; Field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D64 D91 K14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:122:y:2020:i:c:p:328-340

DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2020.04.015

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