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Anarchy, groups, and conflict: an experiment on the emergence of protective associations

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  • Adam Smith

    ()

  • David Skarbek

    ()

  • Bart Wilson

    ()

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the implications of the philosophical considerations presented in Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia, by examining group formation in a laboratory setting where subjects engage in both cooperative and conflictual interactions. We endow participants with a commodity used to generate earnings, plunder others, or protect against plunder. In our primary treatment, we allow participants to form groups to pool their resources. We conduct a baseline comparison treatment that does not allow group formation. We find that allowing subjects to organize themselves into groups does not lead to more cooperation and may in fact exacerbate tendencies for conflict.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 38 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 325-353

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:38:y:2012:i:2:p:325-353

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Cited by:
  1. Herbst, Luisa & Konrad, Kai A. & Morath, Florian, 2013. "Endogenous group formation in experimental contests," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 419, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  2. Rogers, Douglas B. & Smith, Adam C. & Wilson, Bart J., 2013. "Violence, access, and competition in the market for protection," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 1-17.
  3. David M. Bruner & John R. Boyce, 2013. "Voluntary Contributions to Property Rights," Working Papers 13-14, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.

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