An Experimental Study of Kin and Ethnic Favoritism

60 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2019

See all articles by Mahsa Akbari

Mahsa Akbari

Simon Fraser University (SFU), Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, Department of Economics

Duman Bahrami-Rad

Harvard University

Erik O. Kimbrough

Chapman University - The George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics

Pedro Romero

Universidad San Francisco de Quito - USFQ

Sadegh Alhosseini

Moasser Economics and Management Research Center

Date Written: August 25, 2019

Abstract

Ethnic and kinship ties have long been viewed as potential catalysts for favoritism, and hence corruption. In experiments conducted in three countries, we recruit siblings, co-ethnics and strangers and vary the relationship(s) between the players of a game to observe how kin and ethnic ties influence the willingness of two players to benefit one another at the expense of a third party. We see universal sibling favoritism, but ethnic favoritism, and favoritism towards other in-group members (friends) varies. We argue this may be driven in part by kinship institutions, since favoritism is more common in societies with denser kin networks.

Keywords: favoritism, kinship, ethnicity, fractionalization, experiments, corruption

JEL Classification: D9, C9, D73, J12

Suggested Citation

Akbari, Mahsa and Bahrami-Rad, Duman and Kimbrough, Erik O. and Romero, Pedro and Alhosseini, Sadegh, An Experimental Study of Kin and Ethnic Favoritism (August 25, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3442519 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3442519

Mahsa Akbari

Simon Fraser University (SFU), Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, Department of Economics ( email )

British Columbia
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/mahsaakbari27/

Duman Bahrami-Rad

Harvard University ( email )

11 Divinity Avenue
Culture, Cognition, and Coevolution Lab
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
(617) 384-8641 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://scholar.harvard.edu/dumanbahramirad

Erik O. Kimbrough (Contact Author)

Chapman University - The George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics ( email )

One University Dr
Orange, CA 92866
United States

Pedro Romero

Universidad San Francisco de Quito - USFQ ( email )

Diego de Robles y Vía Interoceánic
Campus Cumbayá
Quito, Pichincha 17-1200-84
Ecuador

Sadegh Alhosseini

Moasser Economics and Management Research Center ( email )

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