Why inlcuding the poor can make society rich. Experimental evidence on the benefits of democratic inclusion for public good provision
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Using experimental evidence, this study shows that the active inclusion of a poor stranger can have a beneficial impact on a group’s ability to cooperate in social dilemmas. The study was conducted on online platform MTurk, with N=112 subjects, located in the US. Participants play a public goods game, where three WEALTHY players (endowment = 10 points) vote on the inclusion or exclusion in their group of a POOR player (endowment = 5 points). If included, the POOR player can benefit from and contribute to the public good. If excluded, he/she ‘only’ keeps his/her initial endowment. In the control condition, a random draw rather than voting decides whether the POOR player is included. The results indicate that a majority vote in favour of inclusion has a beneficial impact on public goods provision. The results sheds light on the merit of democratic acceptance of migrants for the successful provision of public goods in society.
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