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Between-group conflict and other-regarding preferences in nested social dilemmas

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Author Info

  • Robert Böhm

    (RWTH Aachen University, Germany)

  • Gary Bornstein

    (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)

  • Hannes Koppel

    ()
    (Heidelberg University, Germany)

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    Abstract

    We investigate experimentally the underlying motivations and individual dierences with regard to the participation in between-group conflict in nested social dilemmas. In our nested social dilemmas, the collective is divided into two groups, and individuals allocate tokens between a private, a group-specific, and a collective good. We vary the marginal per capita return of the group-specific and collective good in order to manipulate the motivational within- and between group conflicts. A first experiment shows that a between-group conflict leads to within-group cooperation and particularly individuals with positive other-regarding preferences (prosocials) react to a between-group conflict by contributing to the group-specific good. Hence, paradoxically, individuals with positive other-regarding preferences may foster between-group conflicts. A second experiment reveals that prosocials' contributions to the group-specific or collective good vary as a function of the personal costs of within-group versus collective cooperation, supporting the weighted average social preference theory by Charness and Rabin (2002).

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2014-011.

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    Date of creation: 31 Mar 2014
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    Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2014-011

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    Keywords: between-group conflict; nested social dilemma; other-regarding preferences; local and global public goods;

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