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

Article


Batsaikhan, M., He, T.-S and Li, Y. 2021. Accents, group identity, and trust behaviors: evidence from Singapore. China Economic Review. 70. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chieco.2021.101702
TypeArticle
TitleAccents, group identity, and trust behaviors: evidence from Singapore
AuthorsBatsaikhan, M., He, T.-S and Li, Y.
Abstract

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.

KeywordsDiscrimination; Accents; Group identity; Trust game
LanguageEnglish
PublisherElsevier
JournalChina Economic Review
ISSN1043-951X
Electronic1873-7781
Publication dates
Online23 Sep 2021
PrintDec 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Nov 2021
Accepted17 Sep 2021
Submitted25 Sep 2020
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
License
Copyright Statement

© 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chieco.2021.101702
Web of Science identifierWOS:000704739500006
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https://repository.mdx.ac.uk/item/89884

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