WIDER Seminar Series

Saurabh Singhal on inequality, corruption and cooperation

WIDER Seminar Series

Saurabh Singhal will present at the WIDER Seminar Series on 12 February

Abstract - Inequality, corruption and cooperation

We examine the effects of randomly introduced economic inequality on voluntary cooperation and whether this relationship is influenced by exposure to local corruption, using data from a large-scale lab-in-the-field public goods experiment with over 1,300 participants across rural Vietnam.

Our results show that inequality adversely affects aggregate contributions. Within groups with heterogeneous endowments, individuals with high endowments contribute a significantly smaller share than those with low endowments. The effect of inequality on cooperation is further exacerbated by corruption.

We find that beliefs about others' contributions are lower in heterogeneous groups in the presence of corruption, and this is an important mechanism explaining our results. 

About the speaker 

Saurabh Singhal is a Lecturer in Economics at Lancaster University, Management School. His research interests include the political economy of development, human capital development issues and experimental economics.

His current projects analyse individual and household decisions related to health and education, and how these interact with political institutions and public policies. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Southern California, and has previously worked at UNU-WIDER and the University of Delhi.

WIDER Seminar Series

The WIDER Seminar Series showcases recent and ongoing work on key topics in development economics. The weekly sessions held in Helsinki are open to local and visiting researchers, policy makers, and others interested in development topics. Click here to learn more.

Seminars will be live streamed on Facebook and recordings and presentations will be available after the event here.

For more information email tomi@wider.unu.edu

Context