Cooperation and Discrimination within and Across Language Borders: Evidence from Children in a Bilingual City

28 Pages Posted: 18 May 2015

See all articles by Silvia Angerer

Silvia Angerer

UMIT - University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology

Daniela Rützler

University of Innsbruck

Philipp Lergetporer

University of Innsbruck

Matthias Sutter

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Cologne - Department of Economics

Abstract

We present experimental evidence from a bilingual city in Northern Italy on whether the language spoken by a partner in a prisoner's dilemma game affects behavior and leads to discrimination. Running a framed field experiment with 828 six- to eleven-year old primary school children in the city of Meran, we find that cooperation generally increases with age, but that the gap between cooperation among in-group members and cooperation towards children speaking another language is considerable and increasing with age. This gap is due to both, in-group favoritism and language group discrimination.

Keywords: cooperation, discrimination, language, children, experiment

JEL Classification: C91, C93, D03

Suggested Citation

Angerer, Silvia and Rützler, Daniela and Lergetporer, Philipp and Sutter, Matthias, Cooperation and Discrimination within and Across Language Borders: Evidence from Children in a Bilingual City. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9039. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2606892

Silvia Angerer (Contact Author)

UMIT - University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology ( email )

Eduard-Wallnöfer-Zentrum 1
Hall, Tirol 6060
Austria

Daniela Rützler

University of Innsbruck ( email )

Philipp Lergetporer

University of Innsbruck ( email )

Universitätsstraße 15
Innsbruck, 6020
Austria

Matthias Sutter

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

University of Cologne - Department of Economics

Cologne, 50923
Germany

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