Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/161305
Authors: 
Siddique, Abu
Vlassopoulos, Michael
Year of Publication: 
2017
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 10682
Abstract: 
In many countries, ethnic minorities have a persistent disadvantageous socioeconomic position. We investigate whether aversion to competing against members of the ethnically dominant group could be a contributing factor to this predicament. We conducted a lab-in-the-field experiment in rural Bangladesh recruiting males from the ethnic majority (Bengali) and an underprivileged ethnic minority group (Santal) that is severely discriminated against. We randomly assign participants into groups with different ethnic composition and elicit a measure of their competitiveness. We find that when compelled to compete, there are no ethnic differences in performance and that both ethnic groups perform better in ethnically-mixed groups than in homogeneous groups. We also find that the ethnic composition of the group of competitors is an important determinant of competitive entry and its effect varies by ethnic group. Members of the ethnic minority group are less likely to compete in groups where they are a numerical minority than when all competitors are co-ethnic, whereas the reverse is true for members of the ethnic majority group. This difference is not explained by heterogeneity in performance, risk preferences, beliefs about relative ability or various socioeconomic characteristics; instead, observed behavior seems to be driven by ethnic differences in preference for interethnic competition.
Subjects: 
competitiveness
group composition
ethnicity
minority
identity
stereotypes
lab-in-the-field experiment
JEL: 
C9
C91
C93
J15
Document Type: 
Working Paper

Files in This Item:
File
Size
1.15 MB





Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.