Preference for Identification in the Field – Nudging Refugees’ Integration Effort
62 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2019
Date Written: March 11, 2019
Social identity greatly affects behavior. However, less is known about individuals’ preference for identification, i.e. how individuals choose their identity and more specifically whether and how subjects invest into belonging to a social group. We design a field experiment that allows us to make effort as an investment into a new group identity salient. The social identity in our treatment is refugee’ identification with the host society. We modified a mailing to 5600 refugees who use an online language-learning platform to learn the host countries’ language. These treatment emails make salient that improving the host country’s language ability increases the belonging to the host society. Our analysis reveals that the treatment has a significant positive effect on the effort exerted on the language-learning platform, leading to more completed exercises and more time spent learning the host country’s language. This suggests that refugees value being part of the host country’s society for its social identity component, which in turn reveals a general preference for identification.
Keywords: Social Identity, Identification Preferences, Social Preferences, Field Experiment, Refugees
JEL Classification: C93, D91, J15
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation