Tema: Guns, pets, and strikes: An experiment on identity and political action
Presenta: José Alberto Guerra (UniAndes)
We study the role of collective action in creating shared identity and shaping subsequent social interactions. In a laboratory experiment, we offer subjects to sign an online petition, or ask whether they had participated in recent street protests. Afterward, subjects interact in games that measure prosocial preferences. We find more altruism, trust, and trustworthiness within a pair of subjects who participated in collective action than in any other pair. Our structural estimation recovers individual prosocial preferences, showing that they increase as a result of joint participation. We then show that participating individuals receive private payoffs in subsequent interactions with fellow participants. Because of this, expecting higher participation by peers makes an individual more likely to participate. This mechanism suggests a reason why citizens participate in political collective action, and helps explain the role of coordination and signaling.
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