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Two's Company, Three's a Group: The impact of group identity and group size on in-group favouritism

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Author Info

  • Donna Harris

    ()
    (Environmental Economy and Policy Research Group, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, 19 Silver Street, Cambridge, UK, CB3 9EP.)

  • Benedikt Herrmann

    ()
    (CeDEx, School of Economics, University of Nottingham, UK, NG7 2RD.)

  • Andreas Kontoleon

    ()
    (Environmental Economy and Policy Research Group, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, 19 Silver Street, Cambridge, UK, CB3 9EP.)

Abstract

In this study, we use an allocation game to study the effects of group identity and group size on in-group favouritism when the person's own payoff is not affected by her decision. We first show that in a triadic setting when the subjects are asked to allocate a fixed amount of resource between two other anonymous individuals, the majority of the subjects choose to allocate equal amounts to both the in-group and the out-group members. Contrary to previous studies, when group identity is induced artificially by simply telling the subjects that they belong to the same `group', it does not appear to significantly increase the amount allocated to the in-group member relative to the out-group member in a triadic setting. However, once the number of the in-group recipients is increased from one to three, the same artificial group identity triggers a sharp increase in in-group favouritism. Our results suggest that in order for favouritism to be clearly observed, not only that group identity has to be present, but also the group needs to consist of more than two members.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economics in its series Environmental Economy and Policy Research Working Papers with number 41.2009.

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Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision: 2009
Handle: RePEc:lnd:wpaper:412009

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Postal: 19 Silver Street, Cambridge CB3 9EP
Phone: +44 1223 337147
Fax: +44 1223 337130
Web page: http://www.landecon.cam.ac.uk
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Keywords: Favouritism; Group Identity; Group Behaviour; Group Size; Laboratory Experiment;

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Cited by:
  1. Oliver Kirchkamp & Ulrike Vollstädt, 2013. "Bargaining with Two-Person-Groups - On the Insignificance of the Patient Partner," CESifo Working Paper Series 4150, CESifo Group Munich.

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