Positive framing does not solve the tragedy of the commons

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Isaksen, Elisabeth T., Kjell Arne Brekke, and Andries Richter




Journal of Environmental Economics and Management

vol 95, 45-56

Sammendrag (engelsk)

We study how close personal contact with minorities affects in-group and out-group trust in a field experiment in the armed forces. Soldiers are randomly assigned to rooms with or without ethnic minorities. At the end of the recruit period, we measure trust by using a trust game. Results indicate that close personal contact with minorities increases trust towards a generic immigrant. We replicate the result that individuals coming from more ethnically diverse areas trust minorities less, but random assignment to interact with minority soldiers removes this negative correlation. We conclude that social integration involving personal contact can reduce negative effects of ethnic diversity on trust.


Public Goods experiment, Common Pool experiment, Framing, Externality, Strategic complements, Strategic substitutes, Rivalry


C92; C72; D70