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Reputation, Social Identity and Social Conflict

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  • JOHN SMITH

Abstract

We interpret the social identity literature and examine its economic implications. We model a population of agents from two exogenous and well defined social groups. Agents are randomly matched to play a reduced form bargaining game. We show that this struggle for resources drives a conflict through the rational destruction of surplus. We assume that the population contains both unbiased and biased players. Biased players aggressively discriminate against members of the other social group. The existence and specification of the biased player is motivated by the social identity literature. For unbiased players, group membership has no payoff relevant consequences. We show that the unbiased players can contribute to the conflict by aggressively discriminating and that this behavior is consistent with existing empirical evidence.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-9779.2012.01557.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Association for Public Economic Theory in its journal Journal of Public Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 14 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (08)
Pages: 677-709

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:14:y:2012:i:4:p:677-709

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  12. Basu, Kaushik, 2005. "Racial Conflict and the Malignancy of Identity," Working Papers 05-02, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  13. Dan Silverman, 2004. "Street Crime And Street Culture," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 761-786, 08.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Wagener, Andreas & Kolmar, Martin, 2011. "Group Identities in Conflicts," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48694, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  2. Farzana Afridi & Sherry Xin Li & Yufei Ren, 2010. "Social Identity and Inequality--The Impact of China’s Hukou System," Working papers 190, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  3. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2007. "Identity, Dignity and Taboos: Beliefs as Assets," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 50, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  4. David W. Johnston & Grace Lordan, 2014. "When Work Disappears: Racial Prejudice and Recession Labour Market Penalties," CEP Discussion Papers dp1257, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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