Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/231405
Authors: 
Lustenhouwer, Joep
Makarewicz, Tomasz
Peña, Juan Carlos
Proaño Acosta, Christian
Year of Publication: 
2021
Series/Report no.: 
BERG Working Paper Series No. 168
Abstract: 
We investigate the effects of group identity and income inequality on social preferences and polarization by means of a laboratory experiment. We split our subjects into two populations: in-group (representing "natives") and out-group ("migrants"). In-group subjects repeatedly vote whether an unemployment insurance should cover all, some, or no members of their group. By means of a two-by-two design we disentangle the effect of group identity from those of income inequality. Among others, our experiment yields the following findings: (1) subjects tend to vote for less inclusive insurance schemes when they sample a higher chance of employment; however, (2) in-group subjects with an ex ante more beneficial distribution of employment chances - relative to the out-group - are less selfish and vote for more inclusive insurance schemes; (3) ex ante more beneficial relative employment chances of in-group subjects also leads to less polarization; and (4) revelation and priming of group identity does not lead to discrimination against out-group "migrants" but, on the contrary, can lead to more compassionate and inclusive attitudes.
Subjects: 
Income Inequality
Political Polarization
Migration
Economic Voting Behavior
Group Identity
JEL: 
C92
D72
J15
ISBN: 
978-3-943153-89-7
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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