Christina Felfe (University of Wurzburg)
29 September 2021 @ 12:00 - 13:15
Organised within the activities of the Migration Observatory, a Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano – Fondazione Collegio Carlo Alberto joint research initiative funded by Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo.
“On the Early Origins of In-Group Bias”
Abstract. We examine whether native childrens’ own-group favoring behavior changes as the fraction of ethnic minorities in their peer group increases. Building on Brock and Durlauf (2001) and Hotelling (1929), we develop a model which predicts an inverse-U shaped amount of in-group out-group bias as a function of the size of a minority group. Empirically, we leverage the random assignment of students to classrooms within a school to obtain variation in fraction of immigrants in a native’s peer group. We combine this with a lab-in-the field experiment which elicits in-group out-group bias using an investment trust game. Consistent with our theory, but in contrast to unadorned contact theory, we find empirical evidence for an inverse-U shape, with the maximum amount of bias occuring when the native and immigrant groups are of roughly equal size. We corroborate this finding with a survey-based measure of in-group out-group trust.
Joint with Dan Anderberg , Gordon B. Dahl, Helmut Rainer and Thomas Siedler.