An Experimental Study of Kin and Ethnic Favoritism
Economic Inquiry, Forthcoming
Posted: 29 Aug 2019 Last revised: 22 May 2020
Date Written: May 22, 2020
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: Suggested Citation