Understanding Ethnic Identity in Africa: Evidence from the Implicit Association Test (Iat)

14 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2015 Last revised: 27 Jul 2022

See all articles by Sara Lowes

Sara Lowes

Harvard University

Nathan Nunn

Harvard University - Department of Economics

James A. Robinson

Harvard University - Department of Government; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jonathan Weigel

Harvard University

Date Written: January 2015

Abstract

We use a variant of the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to examine individuals’ implicit attitudes towards various ethnic groups. Using a population from the Democratic Republic of Congo, we find that the IAT measures show evidence of an implicit bias in favor of one’s own ethnicity. Individuals have implicit views of their own ethnic group that are more positive than their implicit views of other ethnic groups. We find this implicit bias to be quantitatively smaller than the (explicit) bias one finds when using self-reported attitudes about different ethnic groups.

Suggested Citation

Lowes, Sara and Nunn, Nathan and Robinson, James A. and Weigel, Jonathan, Understanding Ethnic Identity in Africa: Evidence from the Implicit Association Test (Iat) (January 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w20885, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2555405

Sara Lowes (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Nathan Nunn

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

James A. Robinson

Harvard University - Department of Government ( email )

1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2839 (Phone)
617-495-8292 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jonathan Weigel

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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