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Title The Lasting Legacies of Social Exclusion on Solidarity: Evidence from a Former Leper Colony in Colombia
Post date 07/24/2018
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale Group identity has been identified as a source of social preferences. On the other hand, social exclusion is a source of group formation and thus group identity. This project focuses on the history of leprosy in Colombia to assess the legacy of the historical social -and geographical- exclusion on current solidarity and social capital. Leprosy has a strong genetic component and is correlated with poverty, a condition amply met by the totality of Colombia throughout the 19th and the early 20th centuries, so that the ‘historical assignment’ of the disease in Colombia -which inevitably came with social exclusion- can be understood as if random. Leveraging on the fact that all lepers were geographically isolated as a part of the social exclusion to which they were subject, and that leprosy has nearly vanished since the 1960s, this project seeks to investigate the differential effects of social exclusion on in- and out-group pro-sociality and social capital. Further, considering that such exclusion was strongly related to a medical stigma, the project also seeks to investigate the legacy of this medically-managed exclusion on contemporary trust in modern medicine.
C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested? This project seeks to test several main hypotheses: 1. Historical experiences of social exclusion have a positive effect on in-group solidarity 2. Historical experiences of social exclusion have a negative effect on out-group solidarity 3. Is the positive effect on ingroup solidarity outweighed by the negative effect on outgroup solidarity when considering measures of solidarity that disregard group-considerations? (No prior as to which is the preeminent effect) 4. There is a negative legacy on trust in modern medicine in those sites of leper isolation Further, two mechanisms will be assessed: 1. Intergenerational transmission of social preferences 2. Knowledge of history
C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? * The project will employ a lab-in-the-field approach to answer the hypothesis. Dictator Games will be conducted in the former leper colony (called Agua de Dios) and in the two municipalities contiguous to it (called Ricaurte and Tocaima, for a total of 3 municipalities), which provide a reasonable control group to examine the effects of social discrimination on solidarity. Subjects will be asked to divide COP $16000 (more than half a day of a minimum wage) between themselves and someone chosen at random in the same municipality (which measures ingroup solidarity). They will be also asked to divide COP $16000 between themselves and someone chosen at random in Apulo, a third Colombian municipality that has a comparable level of development and of climatic conditions (which measures outgroup solidarity). The comparison of these two measures across the three municipalities will enable to test hypotheses 1 and 2 above. Further, question 3 above can be assessed by comparing the aggregation of the within-town allocation and the allocation given to subjects in Apulo in the Dictator games. Such question will also be assessed by comparing across municipalities the answers to a survey measure asking for a degree of similarity (between 1 and 10) to someone who finds it important to selflessly help others. Finally, hypothesis 4 will be assessed by comparing across the three municipalities the answers to questions about trust on physicians (on a scale from 1 to 10), and on perceived danger of the vaccine against the human papilloma virus (again on a scale from 1 to 10), a vaccine that the Colombian government recently tried to implement in all of the country and that faced some resistance by certain individuals. As for the mechanisms, the subjects will be asked for the number of grandparents coming from Agua de Dios and for the knowledge of local history (on a scale from 1 to 10), which will allow to detect if the lower outgroup pro-sociality and the abstract (aggregate) measure of pro-sociality is coming from a higher ancestry in the town (i.e., a higher ancestry exposed to social exclusion) and/or through a higher awareness of history.
C4 Country Colombia
C5 Scale (# of Units) 280 subjects
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? Yes
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? This protocol was determined to be exempt from review
C8 IRB Number 1803002006
C9 Date of IRB Approval March 27, 2018
C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party? Researchers
C11 Did any of the research team receive remuneration from the implementing agency for taking part in this research? not provided by authors
C12 If relevant, is there an advance agreement with the implementation group that all results can be published? not provided by authors
C13 JEL Classification(s) not provided by authors