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Power distribution and endogenous segregation

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to provide a detailed analysis of the process of segregation formation. The claim is that segregation does not originate from prejudice or exogenous psychological factors. Rather it is the product of strategic interactions among social groups in a setting where one group has captured power. While using a model featuring random matching and repeated games, it is shown that whenever one group seizes power, members of other groups will perceive additional value in forging long term relationships with the mighty. They will systematically cooperate with the latter either because it is in their interest to do so or because they do not have other choice. The mighty natural response to this yearning to cooperate is to refuse intergroup relationships. The dominated group will best reply to this new situation by in turn rejecting the relationships and a segregation equilibrium emerges. Segregation stems from the systematic cooperation by one group with another. However, not all societies that have experienced power captures converge towards segregation. It is shown that the proportion of individuals that are actually powerful within the mighty group determines convergence towards segregation.

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File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/CES2008/Bla08002.pdf
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Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number r08002.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:r08002

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Keywords: Segration; discrimination; power; caste; repeated games; prisoner's dilemma; clubs; status; social organizations.;

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