At the root of the North-South cooperation gap in Italy: Preferences or beliefs?
Maria Bigoni (),
Stefania Bortolotti (),
M. Casari and
Working Papers from Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna
The marked difference in the development of the North and the South of Italy represents a prototypical case of seemingly intractable within-country disparities. Recent research found that a plausible determinant of this socio-economic gap would be a difference in the ability to cooperate. Through a laboratory experiment we investigate whence this difference derives, whether from different preferences or from different beliefs. Our findings indicate that Northerners and Southerners share the same individual pro-social preferences, and that the cooperation gap lies rather in the pessimistic beliefs that Southerners have about their cooperativeness. Southerners, furthermore, manifest a stronger aversion to social risk, as compared to the risk of nature. A policy implication is that an intervention or an event that reduced pessimistic beliefs would directly boost cooperation levels.
JEL-codes: C72 C93 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-soc
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp1092
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