Favoring your in-group can harm both them and you: Ethnicity and public goods provision in China
César Mantilla (),
Charlotte Wang (),
Suping Shen and
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2021, vol. 185, issue C, 211-233
Do people discriminate between co-ethnics and others in cooperative interactions? In an experiment in China, we find that participants in trust games send around 15% more to partners they know to be co-ethnics than to those whose ethnicity they do not know. Receivers’ behavior is determined by amounts received and not by perceived ethnicity. In line with previous literature we find that subjects contribute more to public goods in ethnically homogeneous groups than in mixed groups. We find evidence for a new explanation that is not due to different intrinsic preferences for cooperation with ingroup and outgroup members. Instead, subjects’ willingness to punish in-group members for free-riding is reduced when out-group members are present. This leads to lower contributions and net earnings in mixed groups. Thus favoritism towards co-ethnics can hurt both those engaging in favoritism and those being favored.
Keywords: Ethnic cooperation; Lab-in-the-field; Trust; Reciprocity; Punishment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D9 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
Working Paper: Favoring your in-group can harm both them and you: Ethnicity and public goods provision in China (2021)
Working Paper: Favoring Your In-Group Can Harm Both Them and You: Ethnicity and Public Goods Provision in China (2018)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:185:y:2021:i:c:p:211-233
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.
More articles in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().