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Group Membership, Team Preferences, and Expectations (A new version of this paper is available as CEEL WP 3-12)

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Author Info

  • Francesco Guala

    ()

  • Luigi Mittone

    ()

  • Matteo Ploner

    ()

Abstract

Group membership increases cooperation in social dilemma games, altruistic donation in dictator games, and fair offers in ultimatum games. While the empirical study of group action has grown rapidly over the years, there is little agreement at the theoretical level on exactly why and how group membership changes individual behaviour. According to most theorists, the effect of group framing is channelled primarily via the beliefs of group members, while a dissenting minority identifies changes in preference as the key explanatory mechanism. We report an experiment using the minimal group paradigm and a prisoner’s dilemma with multiple actions, in which we manipulate players’ beliefs and show that mutual knowledge of group affiliation is not necessary for group action. Our results question previous empirical findings, refute theories of social norms based on mutual expectations, and support a specific theory of team preferences based on “circumspect reasoning”

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia in its series CEEL Working Papers with number 0906.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpce:0906

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Keywords: group identity; team preferences; social dilemmas; experimental economics.;

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Cited by:
  1. Hugh Jones, David, 2011. "How to Waste a Crisis: Budget Cuts and Public Service Reform," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 51, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  2. David Hugh-Jones & Martin A. Leroch, 2010. "Group Reciprocity," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-066, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.

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