Friday 16 August 2019

Cricket and Collaboration

Matt Lowe's job market paper coming out of MIT looks excellent. And I love that he markets it with a tweetstream.
Sri Lanka has finally finished their first innings in the test against New Zealand, so you've time to give the paper a read:
Types of Contact: A Field Experiment on Collaborative and Adversarial Caste Integration

Matt Lowe


I estimate the effects of two types of intergroup contact: collaborative and adversarial. I randomly as-signed Indian men from different castes to participate in cricket leagues or to serve as a control group. League players faced variation in collaborative contact, through random assignment to homogeneous-caste or mixed-caste teams, and adversarial contact, through random assignment of opponents. Collaborative contact increases cross-caste friendships and efficiency in trade, and reduces own-caste favoritism. In contrast, adversarial contact generally reduces cross-caste interaction and efficiency.League participation reduces intergroup differences, suggesting that the positive aspects of intergroup contact in the leagues more than offset the negative aspects in this setting.
What a fun design, and great excuse to get to watch a lot of cricket:
From a sample of 1,261 men, I randomized 800 to play in eight month-long cricket leagues, and assigned the others to a control group.  Of those assigned to play, I assigned 35% to homogeneous-caste teams, and the others to mixed-caste teams.  This randomization gave the first type of cross-caste contact: collaborative – those on the same team shared the common goal of winning matches. Once teams formed, I chose opponents randomly to create the second type of cross-caste contact: adversarial– those on opposing teams had opposing goals. I measured intergroup behavioral outcomes one to three weeks after each league ended.

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