Macrohistory Seminar – Matt Lowe (University of Bonn & Briq Institute) Types of Contact: A Field Experiment on Collaborative and Adversarial Caste Integration

Event details

  • | Thursday, May 2
  • 12:15 PM
  • Kaiserplatz 7-9, 4th floor, Room 4.006
Types of Contact: A Field Experiment on Collaborative and Adversarial Caste Integration

Integration is a common policy used to reduce discrimination, but different types of integration may have different effects. This paper estimates the effects of two types of integration: collaborative and adversarial. I recruited 1,261 young Indian men from different castes and randomly assigned them either to participate in month-long cricket leagues or to serve as a control group. Players faced variation in collaborative contact, through random assignment to homogeneous-caste or mixed-caste teams, and adversarial contact, through random assignment of opponents. Collaborative contact reduces discrimination, leading to more cross-caste friendships and 33% less own-caste favoritism when voting to allocate cricket rewards. These effects have efficiency consequences, increasing both the quality
of teammates chosen for a future match, and cross-caste trade and payouts in a real-stakes trading exercise. In contrast, adversarial contact generally has no, or even harmful, effects. Together these findings show that the economic effects of integration depend on the type of contact.

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