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Reputation, social identity and social conflict

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  • Smith, John

Abstract

We interpret the social identity literature and examine its economic implications. We model a population of agents from two exogenous and well defined social groups. Agents are randomly matched to play a reduced form bargaining game. We show that this struggle for resources drives a conflict through the rational destruction of surplus. We assume that the population contains both unbiased and biased players. Biased players aggressively discriminate against members of the other social group. The existence and specification of the biased player is motivated by the social identity literature. For unbiased players, group membership has no payoff relevant consequences. We show that the unbiased players can contribute to the conflict by aggressively discriminating and that this behavior is consistent with existing empirical evidence.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 18082.

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Date of creation: 22 Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18082

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Keywords: reputation; identity; conflict;

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References

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  1. Benjamin Bridgman, . "Why Are Ethnically Divided Countries Poor?," Departmental Working Papers 2003-11, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  2. Lindqvist, Erik & Östling, Robert, 2006. "Identity and Redistribution," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 659, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 12 Jun 2007.
  3. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
  4. John Davis, 2006. "Social identity strategies in recent economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 371-390.
  5. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
  6. Werner Güth & M. Vittoria Levati & Matteo Ploner, 2007. "Social identity and trust - An experimental investigation," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-41, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  7. Holger Strulik, 2008. "Social composition, social conflict and economic development," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 1145-1170, 07.
  8. Rapoport, Hillel & Weiss, Avi, 2001. "The Optimal Size for a Minority," IZA Discussion Papers 284, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2002. "Interpreting ethnic fragmentation effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 271-276, April.
  10. Lorenz Goette & David Huffman & Stephan Meier, 2006. "The impact of group membership on cooperation and norm enforcement: evidence using random assignment to real social groups," Working Papers 06-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  11. Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Basu, Kaushik, 2005. "Racial Conflict and the Malignancy of Identity," Working Papers 05-02, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  13. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
  14. Dominic Rohner, 2008. "Reputation, Group Structure and Social Tensions," HiCN Working Papers 40, Households in Conflict Network.
  15. Gary Charness & Luca Rigotti & Aldo Rustichini, 2007. "Individual Behavior and Group Membership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1340-1352, September.
  16. Dan Silverman, 2004. "Street Crime And Street Culture," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 761-786, 08.
  17. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  18. repec:dgr:uvatin:2005078 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Benabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2007. "Identity, Dignity and Taboos: Beliefs as Assets," IZA Discussion Papers 2583, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Afridi, Farzana & Li, Sherry Xin & Ren, Yufei, 2012. "Social Identity and Inequality: The Impact of China's Hukou System," IZA Discussion Papers 6417, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Wagener, Andreas & Kolmar, Martin, 2011. "Group Identities in Conflicts," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48694, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  4. David W. Johnston & Grace Lordan, 2014. "When Work Disappears: Racial Prejudice and Recession Labour Market Penalties," CEP Discussion Papers dp1257, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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