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Two Sides of the Same Coin: Re-examining Nepotism and Discrimination in a Segmented Society

Andre Hofmeyr and Justine Burns

Review of Social Economy, 2012, vol. 70, issue 3, 344-374

Abstract: We report the results from a series of trust games designed to distinguish racial discrimination from racial nepotism, played with a sample of high school students in Cape Town, South Africa. In contrast to the original work in this regard by Fershtman et al . (2005), we find considerably greater heterogeneity in the way that proposers respond to the revealed racial identity of their partner, with nepotism being a dominant behavior. However, while some proposers exhibit a nepotistic bias in their offers that favors in-group members on average, others exhibit a nepotistic strategy that favors out-group members. A consequence of this nepotism is that both efficiency and equity are reduced on average.

Date: 2012
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DOI: 10.1080/00346764.2011.632321

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