Discrimination in the Provision of Social Services to the Poor: A Field Experimental Study

54 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2011

See all articles by Juan-Camilo Cárdenas

Juan-Camilo Cárdenas

Universidad de Los Andes

Natalia Candelo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Alejandro Gaviria Uribe

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Sandra Polania-Reyes

University of Navarra

Rajiv Sethi

Barnard College, Columbia University; Santa Fe Institute

Date Written: April 2008

Abstract

This paper uses an experimental field approach to investigate the pro-social preferences and behavior of social services providers and the behavior of potential beneficiaries in Bogota, Colombia. Field experiments were conducted using games including a newly designed Distributive Dictator Game in order to examine traits and mechanisms guiding pro-sociality. Replicating the patterns of previous studies, individuals showed a preference for fair outcomes, positive levels of trust and reciprocity, and willingness to punish unfair outcomes. The results provide evidence that the poor trigger more pro-social behavior from all citizens, including public servants, but the latter display strategic generosity. Additional observations include a bias in favor of women and households with more dependents, but discriminatory behavior against stigmatized groups.

Suggested Citation

Cárdenas, Juan-Camilo and Candelo, Natalia and Gaviria Uribe, Alejandro and Polania-Reyes, Sandra and Sethi, Rajiv, Discrimination in the Provision of Social Services to the Poor: A Field Experimental Study (April 2008). IDB Working Paper No. 229, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1815910 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1815910

Juan-Camilo Cárdenas

Universidad de Los Andes ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia
339-4949 ext. 2473 (Phone)

Natalia Candelo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Alejandro Gaviria Uribe

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

Sandra Polania-Reyes

University of Navarra ( email )

Universidad de Navarra
Campus Universitario
Pamplona, 31009
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://https://spolaniareyes.github.io/

Rajiv Sethi

Barnard College, Columbia University ( email )

3009 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-5140 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.columbia.edu/~rs328/

Santa Fe Institute

1399 Hyde Park Road
Santa Fe, NM 87501
United States

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