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Redistribution and Group Participation: Experimental Evidence from Africa and the UK

We design an original laboratory experiment to investigate whether redistributive actions hinder the formation of Pareto-improving groups. We test, in an anonymous setting with no feedback, whether people choose to destroy or steal the endowment of others and whether they choose to give to others, when granted the option. We then test whether subjects join a group that increases their endowment but exposes them to redistribution. We conduct the experiment in three very di§erent settings with a priori di§erent norms of pro-social behavior.