Accents, group identity, and trust behaviors: evidence from Singapore

Batsaikhan, Mongoljin, He, Tai-sen and Li, Yupeng (2021) Accents, group identity, and trust behaviors: evidence from Singapore. China Economic Review, 70 , 101702. pp. 1-11. ISSN 1043-951X [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.chieco.2021.101702)

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We study discrimination on the basis of national origin in Singapore by exploring how the group identity discernible in a speaker's accent affects trust. In the trust game, Singaporean Chinese (SGC) senders were asked to listen to audio clips in which responders with either an SGC or a Mainland Chinese (MLC) accent read a two-sentence script before the senders decided how much money to send. We also used the strategy method to elicit the senders' beliefs about the trustworthiness of responders with an MLC accent versus those with an SGC accent. Contrary to our expectations and the common perception in Singapore, we found that Singaporean senders tended to place more trust in responders with an MLC accent than in responders with an SGC accent. We explain this difference on the basis of the Singaporean senders' beliefs about trustworthiness: they believed that people with an MLC accent would return more money to senders than would the in-group Singaporean counterparts. To bolster our findings, we confirmed in a separate experiment that the difference in response to the accents was not due to the speech rate or vocal pitch.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Economics
Item ID: 33988
Notes on copyright: © 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Mongoljin Batsaikhan
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2021 08:49
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 17:39

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