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Lineage-based Heterogeneity and Cooperative Behavior in Rural China

He, Quqiong and Pan, Ying and Sarangi, Sudipta (2017): Lineage-based Heterogeneity and Cooperative Behavior in Rural China.

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Abstract

This paper investigates how lineages, the commonly found organizations in rural villages of China, affect people’s intra- and cross-lineage cooperative behavior. We use data from the Chinese Household Income Project Survey 2002, which exclusively contains information about the lineage structure in these villages allowing us to classify three levels of lineage-based heterogeneity. Our identification strategy relies on the exogeneity of lineage-based heterogeneity. We find evidence that people in a village with higher lineage-based heterogeneity are less likely to exhibit reciprocity behavior within lineages or contribute to the provision of public goods that are jointly shared across lineages. The estimation results remain robust to the inclusion of various control variables and additional background characteristics. Finally, we examine a number of other economic outcomes and find that more homogeneous villages do better than other types of villages.

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