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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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References

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  1. Kaushik Basu, 2005. "Racial conflict and the malignancy of identity," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 221-241, December.
  2. Gary Charness & Luca Rigotti & Aldo Rustichini, 2007. "Individual Behavior and Group Membership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1340-1352, September.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1999. "Public Goods And Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1243-1284, November.
  4. John B Davis, 2005. "Social Identity Strategies in Recent Economics," Working Papers and Research, Marquette University, Center for Global and Economic Studies and Department of Economics 0508, Marquette University, Center for Global and Economic Studies and Department of Economics.
  5. 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, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 761-786, 08.
  6. 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, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 06-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  7. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers, Harvard - Institute for International Development 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  8. Holger Strulik, 2008. "Social composition, social conflict and economic development," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(530), pages 1145-1170, 07.
  9. Hillel Rapoport & Avi Weiss, 2001. "The Optimal Size for a Minority," Working Papers, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics 2001-01, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
  10. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2002. "Interpreting ethnic fragmentation effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 271-276, April.
  11. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  12. repec:dgr:uvatin:2005078 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Rohner, Dominic, 2011. "Reputation, group structure and social tensions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 188-199, November.
  14. Lindqvist, Erik, 2008. "Identity and Redistribution," Working Paper Series, Research Institute of Industrial Economics 735, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  15. Benjamin Bridgman, . "Why Are Ethnically Divided Countries Poor?," Departmental Working Papers, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University 2003-11, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  16. Werner Güth & M. Vittoria Levati & Matteo Ploner, 2007. "Social identity and trust - An experimental investigation," Papers on Strategic Interaction, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group 2006-41, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  17. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
  18. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  19. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
  20. Erik Lindqvist & Robert Östling, 2013. "Identity and redistribution," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 469-491, June.
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Cited by:
  1. 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).
  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. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2007. "Identity, Dignity and Taboos: Beliefs as Assets," Carlo Alberto Notebooks, Collegio Carlo Alberto 50, Collegio Carlo Alberto.

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