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Caste and Punishment: The Legacy of Caste Culture in Norm Enforcement


Hoff, Karla; Kshetramade, Mayuresh; Fehr, Ernst (2010). Caste and Punishment: The Legacy of Caste Culture in Norm Enforcement. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 476, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Well-functioning groups enforce social norms that restrain opportunism, but the social structure of a society may encourage or inhibit norm enforcement. Here we study how the exogenous assignment to different positions in an extreme social hierarchy – the caste system – affectsnindividuals’ willingness to punish violations of a cooperation norm. Although we control for individual wealth, education, and political participation, low caste individuals exhibit a muchnlower willingness to punish norm violations that hurt members of their own caste, suggesting a cultural difference across caste status in the concern for members of one’s own community. Thenlower willingness to punish may inhibit the low caste’s ability to sustain collective action and so may contribute to its economic vulnerability .

Abstract

Well-functioning groups enforce social norms that restrain opportunism, but the social structure of a society may encourage or inhibit norm enforcement. Here we study how the exogenous assignment to different positions in an extreme social hierarchy – the caste system – affectsnindividuals’ willingness to punish violations of a cooperation norm. Although we control for individual wealth, education, and political participation, low caste individuals exhibit a muchnlower willingness to punish norm violations that hurt members of their own caste, suggesting a cultural difference across caste status in the concern for members of one’s own community. Thenlower willingness to punish may inhibit the low caste’s ability to sustain collective action and so may contribute to its economic vulnerability .

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:February 2010
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 15:09
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 09:59
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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