Note: We thank the research and development institute Nitlapan of the Central American University (UCA) for supporting the organization of the fieldwork. We are very grateful to Teresa Sequeros for undertaking the field research with the support of Merilyng Ulissa Peña Sequeira, Javier Ruiz Perez, and Will Tellez. We also thank colleagues at Wageningen University for comments on the experimental design. This paper benefitted from comments of participants at the UNU-WIDER conference on “Poverty and Behavioural Economics,” and seminar participants at Wageningen University, as well as from financial support from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (project number NWO-VAM 454-04-011).
Aid Distribution and Cooperation in Unequal Communities
Article first published online: 4 FEB 2014
© 2014 UNU-WIDER. Review of Income and Wealth published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.
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Review of Income and Wealth
Special Issue: Poverty, Development, and Behavioral Economics (Comprises Findings of UNU-WIDER Project New Approaches to Measuring Poverty and Vulnerability)
Volume 60, Issue 1, pages 114–132, March 2014
How to Cite
D'Exelle, B. and van den Berg, M. (2014), Aid Distribution and Cooperation in Unequal Communities. Review of Income and Wealth, 60: 114–132. doi: 10.1111/roiw.12092
- Issue published online: 4 FEB 2014
- Article first published online: 4 FEB 2014
- Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. Grant Number: NWO-VAM 454-04-011
- aid distribution;
- collective action;
We experimentally study aid distribution and cooperation in a field lab in rural Nicaragua. In the first stage of the experimental game, participants contribute to a collective effort that determines the amount of aid given to the group, which is distributed among the players in a second stage. We find that in a treatment where a group representative, selected as the highest contributor, distributes aid, contributions are higher compared to a treatment where aid is equally distributed. The higher amounts of aid attracted, however, benefit representatives only. At the same time, representatives do care about fairness. They give higher aid shares to players with low endowments and lower shares to low contributors. Moreover, representatives with lower relative wealth or who contribute relatively more, keep higher aid shares. With our experimental game simulating community-based development (CBD) schemes, we discuss the implications of our results for elite capture in such schemes.