Aspiration, Ethnic Composition, and Competitive Inclination: An Experimental Study
52 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2022 Last revised: 20 Jun 2022
Date Written: February 3, 2022
How does differences in the competitive inclination of ethnic groups contribute to economic disparity and how does the ethnic composition of a group affect competitive inclinations of individuals from different ethnicities? We experimentally investigate how ethnic composition affects the competitive inclinations of those from the Han (ethnic majority) and Yi (ethnic minority) in groups with different ethnic compositions. In homogeneous treatments, which consists of one ethnicity, we find no differences in competitive inclination. However, in mixed treatments where both ethnicities are present in the group, the Yi are less likely to enter tournament than the Han, supporting the hypothesis that ethnic composition affects tournament entry decisions. The difference in aspiration for education attainment of the Yi and the Han has the highest explanatory power for this entry-gap. Difference in income, performance, and parents' education cannot explain the entry-gap. The results suggest that the government's preferential university admission policy for ethnic minorities leads to the Yi having lower aspirations, which in turn leads to a lower entry rate in the mixed treatments.
Keywords: Competitive inclination, Ethnicity, Aspiration, Gender difference
JEL Classification: C91, C93, D91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation