The effect of social fragmentation on public good provision : an experimental study
Fonseca, Miguel A.
Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics
We study the role of social identity in determining the impact of social fragmentation on public good provision using laboratory experiments. We find that as long as there is some degree of social fragmentation, increasing it leads to lower public good provision by majority group members. This is mainly because the share of those in the majority group who contribute fully to the public good diminishes with social fragmentation, while the share of free-riders is unchanged. This suggests social identity preferences drive our result, as opposed to self-interest. Importantly, we find no difference in contribution between homogeneous and maximally-fragmented treatments, reinforcing our finding that majority groups contribute most in the presence of some diversity.
Economic and Social Research Council
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, vol. 53, pp. 1-9 doi:10.1016/j.socec.2014.07.002
This version originally published in University of Exeter Economics Department Discussion Papers Series as paper number 12/07
Vol. 53, pp. 1 - 9