Coethnicity: Diversity and the Dilemmas of Collective Action

James Habyarimana Macartan Humphreys Daniel N. Posner Jeremy M. Weinstein

Winner of a Luebbert Prize for Best Book in Comparative Politics, “Coethnicity” uses as its microcosm of study one highly ethnically-diverse neighborhood in Kampala, Uganda – a community which was also known for low levels of public goods provision, and applies to its citizens experimental behavioral games in an effort to connect, or disprove cause and effect. This landmark study among the Mulago-Kyebando residents involved hundreds of community members interacting with a wide variety of neighbors in laboratory games that simulated decisions they might make in real life. Moving beyond simple or structured observation to experimentation allowed for discovery of the equally critical roles played by such common human factors as altruism, expectations of anonymity, sanctioning, public scrutiny, and expectations of reciprocity — or lack of it.

“Coethnicity” is one volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust

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