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Cooperation and the in-group-out-group bias: A field test on Israeli kibbutz members and city residents

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  • Ruffle, Bradley J.
  • Sosis, Richard

Abstract

The in-group-out-group bias is among the most widely documented and analyzed phenomenon in the social sciences. We conduct field experiments to test whether the bias extends to the cooperative behavior of one of the most successful modern collectives, the Israeli kibbutz. Despite their promise as universal cooperators, kibbutz members are more cooperative toward anonymous kibbutz members than they are toward anonymous city residents. In fact, when paired with city residents, kibbutz members’ observed levels of cooperation are identical to those of city residents. Moreover, self-selection rather than kibbutz socialization largely accounts for the extent to which kibbutz members are cooperative.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 60 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 147-163

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:60:y:2006:i:2:p:147-163

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  1. Fershtman, C. & Gneezy, U., 2000. "Discrimination in a Segmented Society: an Experimental Approach," Papers 2000-9, Tel Aviv.
  2. Jeffrey P. Carpenter, 2000. "Negotiation in the Commons: Incorporating Field and Experimental Evidence into a Theory of Local Collective Action," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 156(4), pages 661-, December.
  3. Samuel, Yitzhak & Heilbrunn, Sibylle, 2001. "Entrepreneurship in the Kibbutz Setting: Towards a Classification of New Business Ventures," Journal of Rural Cooperation, Hebrew University, Center for Agricultural Economic Research, vol. 29(1).
  4. Nash, John, 1953. "Two-Person Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 21(1), pages 128-140, April.
  5. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
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  7. Schram, Arthur, 2000. " Sorting Out the Seeking: The Economics of Individual Motivations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(3-4), pages 231-58, June.
  8. Juan-Camilo Cardenas & John Stranlund & Cleve Willis, 2000. "Local environmental control and institutional crowding-out," Artefactual Field Experiments 00028, The Field Experiments Website.
  9. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
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