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The optimal size for a minority

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  • Rapoport, Hillel
  • Weiss, Avi

Abstract

We investigate a setting in which members of a population, bifurcated into a majority and a minority, transact with randomly matched partners. All members are uniformly altruistic, and each transaction can be carried out cooperatively or through a market mechanism, with cooperative transactions saving on transaction costs. Externalities are introduced, whereby cooperation by members of one group and the relative size of that group, affect the incentives to cooperate by members of the other group. Under these conditions, we determine the optimal size of the minority from the minority’s perspective, and consider the conditions under which such a size might be attained. The model provides insights on social conflicts both between groups and within groups.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 52 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 27-45

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:52:y:2003:i:1:p:27-45

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  1. Eli Berman, 2000. "Sect, Subsidy, And Sacrifice: An Economist'S View Of Ultra-Orthodox Jews," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 905-953, August.
  2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  3. R. M. Isaac & J. M. Walker, 2010. "Group size effects in public goods provision: The voluntary contribution mechanism," Levine's Working Paper Archive 310, David K. Levine.
  4. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 1999. "Ethnic Chinese Networks in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. George J. Borjas, 1995. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 3-22, Spring.
  6. Ben-Ner, Avner & Putterman, Louis, 2000. "On some implications of evolutionary psychology for the study of preferences and institutions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 91-99, September.
  7. Iannaccone, Laurence R, 1992. "Sacrifice and Stigma: Reducing Free-Riding in Cults, Communes, and Other Collectives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 271-91, April.
  8. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
  9. van Dijk, Frans & van Winden, Frans, 1997. "Dynamics of social ties and local public good provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 323-341, June.
  10. Joel M. Guttman & Shmuel Nitzan & Uriel Spiegel, 1992. "Rent Seeking And Social Investment In Taste Change," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(1), pages 31-42, 03.
  11. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-48, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Sawchuk, Lawrence A. & Tripp, Lianne & Melnychenko, Ulianna, 2013. "The Jewish Advantage and Household Security: Life Expectancy among 19th Century Sephardim of Gibraltar," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 360-370.
  2. Smith, John, 2009. "Reputation, social identity and social conflict," MPRA Paper 18082, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Gil S. Epstein & Ira N Gang, 2006. "Migrants, Ethnicity and Strategic Assimilation," Departmental Working Papers, Rutgers University, Department of Economics 200630, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  4. Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2004. "Ethnic Networks and International Trade," IZA Discussion Papers 1232, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Gil S. Epstein & Yosef Mealem, 2010. "Interactions between Local and Migrant Workers at the Workplace," Development Working Papers 297, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  6. Amin, Mohammad & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2005. "Does temporary migration have to be permanent?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3582, The World Bank.
  7. repec:iza:izadps:dp483 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2008. "Ethnicity, Assimilation and Harassment in the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 3591, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Gradstein, Mark & Schiff, Maurice, 2004. "The Political Economy of Social Exclusion with Implications for Immigration Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 1087, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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