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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 23336.

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Date of creation: 08 Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:23336

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Keywords: social identity theory; social fragmentation;

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  1. John Davis, 2006. "Social identity strategies in recent economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 371-390.
  2. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
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  4. David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1999. "Reputation and Imperfect Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 238, David K. Levine.
  5. Dominic Rohner, 2008. "Reputation, Group Structure and Social Tensions," HiCN Working Papers 40, Households in Conflict Network.
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  10. Strulik, Holger, 2006. "Social Composition, Social Conflict, and Economic Development," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-350, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
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Cited by:
  1. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2007. "Identity, Dignity and Taboos: Beliefs as Assets," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 50, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Farzana Afridi & Sherry Xin Li & Yufei Ren, 2010. "Social Identity and Inequality--The Impact of China’s Hukou System," Working papers 190, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.

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