Cultural Identities and Resolution of Social Dilemmas
18 Pages Posted: 14 May 2020
Date Written: January 2020
We report an experiment on payoff‐equivalent, sequential provision and appropriation games with high‐ and low‐caste Indian villagers. A central question is whether caste identities affect resolution of social dilemmas. Making caste salient elicits striking changes in behavior compared to baseline treatment with no information about others' castes. Homogenous groups with high caste villagers are more successful in resolving social dilemmas than homogenous groups with low caste villagers. The success of mixed‐caste groups is somewhere between, which is inconsistent with a group identity model. Absent salient information on caste, behavior is inconsistent with unconditional social preferences but as predicted by reciprocity.
JEL Classification: C93, H41, Z13
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