Bridging the gender divide: An experimental analysis of group formation in African villages.


In an experiment, African villagers could form groups to share risk in a gamble choice game. The authors exogenously varied the extent to which grouping arrangements were enforced and, hence, the importance of trust and social enforcement as supports for group formation. Gender assorting was significant and considerable when grouping was perfectly enforced or depended on social enforcement. There was significantly less gender assorting when grouping depended on trust. Exploratory analysis suggests that this reduction in gender assorting may be owing to family ties and co-memberships in gender-mixed religions.

An earlier version of this paper was published as CSAE working paper 2009-17.


Centre for the Study of African Economies, Oxford, UK., 36 pp.

Published 1 January 2009