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Games 2018, 9(3), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/g9030055

The Effects of Social Exclusion and Group Heterogeneity on the Provision of Public Goods

1
School of Economics, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
2
Centre for Research on Peace and Development (CRPD), KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
3
Director, Research Unit in Behavioural Economics and Neuroeconomics (RUBEN), University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
4
Director, Centre for Research on Peace and Development (CRPD), KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
5
Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, University of Heidelberg, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Good Games)
Full-Text   |   PDF [438 KB, uploaded 1 August 2018]   |  

Abstract

The multi-dimensional nature of social exclusion requires several perspectives in understanding its causes and consequences. Focus on the topic is largely centred around questions of material deprivation. However, as poverty and inequality are inextricably linked to questions of access and inclusion, a holistic approach is required. Consequently, we explore how imposed relational asymmetries which manifest as differences in the ability to exercise personal agency and in turn, engender wealth inequalities, affect social cooperation in future interactions. To do this, we generate wealth inequalities through two Prisoner’s Dilemma games, where one party is excluded from participating in the determination of the outcomes of the game. The effects of this asymmetry in social participation on ex post cooperation is examined using a Public Goods game. We find that the presence of prior asymmetric influence in social decision-making subsequently reduces contributions to the public good, independent of endowment level. This reduction in social welfare is driven by the under-contribution from players who were excluded in prior social interactions. Simply put, the data shows that a history of social exclusion reduces subsequent public goods provision, independent of material inequality. View Full-Text
Keywords: inequality; power; social exclusion; public goods inequality; power; social exclusion; public goods
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Njozela, L.; Burns, J.; Langer, A. The Effects of Social Exclusion and Group Heterogeneity on the Provision of Public Goods. Games 2018, 9, 55.

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