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The Optimal Size for a Minority

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Author Info

  • Rapoport, Hillel

    ()
    (Paris School of Economics)

  • Weiss, Avi

    ()
    (Bar-Ilan University)

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

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 284.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2003, 52 (1), 27-45
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp284

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Related research

Keywords: social conflicts; minorities; ethnic groups; religious groups; Altruism; relative group size;

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References

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  1. George J. Borjas, 1995. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 3-22, Spring.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Group Size Effects in Public Goods Provision: The Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 179-99, February.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  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. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2002. "Ethnic Chinese Networks In International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 116-130, February.
  9. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Gil Epstein & Yosef Mealem, 2010. "Interactions between local and migrant workers at the workplace," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1016, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  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. 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).
  5. Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2004. "Ethnic Networks and International Trade," IZA Discussion Papers 1232, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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. 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.
  9. 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).

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