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Angerer, Silvia; Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela; Lergetporer, Philipp; Sutter, Matthias (2016): Cooperation and discrimination within and across language borders: Evidence from children in a bilingual city. In: European Economic Review, Vol. 90: pp. 254-264
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We present experimental evidence from a bilingual city in Northern Italy on whether the affiliation to a specific language group affects behavior in a prisoner's dilemma game and leads to discrimination. Running a framed field experiment with 828 six- to eleven-year old primary school children in the city of Meran, we find that cooperation generally increases with age, but that the gap between cooperation among in-group members and cooperation towards children speaking another language is considerable and develops with age. This gap is due to both in-group favoritism and language group discrimination. While the former is persistent across all age groups and both language groups and accounts for most of the discrimination observed, the latter only emerges in later years of primary school among children belonging to the German language group. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.