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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Ruth Vargas Hill

The World Bank
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Institutional Affiliation: The World Bank

NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2015Redistribution and Group Participation: Comparative Experimental Evidence from Africa and the UK
with Marcel Fafchamps: w21127
We design an original laboratory experiment to investigate whether redistributive actions hinder the formation of Pareto-improving groups. We test, in an anonymous setting with no feedback, whether people choose to destroy or steal the endowment of others and whether they choose to give to others, when granted the option. We then test whether subjects join a group that increases their endowment but exposes them to redistribution. We conduct the experiment in three very different settings with a priori different norms of pro-social behavior: a university town in the UK, the largest urban slum in Kenya, and rural Uganda. We find a lot of commonality but also large differences between sites. UK subjects behave in a more selfish and strategic way -- giving less, stealing more. Kenyan and Ugand...

Published: Marcel Fafchamps & Ruth Vargas Hill, 2019. "Redistribution and Group Participation: Experimental Evidence from Africa and the UK," The World Bank Economic Review, vol 33(3), pages 717-735.

 
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