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On the Stability of Group Formation: Managing the Conflict Within

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  • Michelle R. Garfinkel

    (University of California-Irvine)

Abstract

This paper develops a positive analysis of stable group formation, highlighting the role of conflict management within groups. The analysis is based on a model of sequential conflict, starting with a "winner- take-all" contest for control of some resource. When a group forms, members pool their efforts in that contest and, if successful, apply the resource to a joint production process. While reducing the severity of conflict over the contestable resource relative to the case of individual conflict, the formation of groups adds another layer of conflict---that is, one between the members of the winning group over the distribution of their joint product. The effectiveness of conflict management in enabling groups to resolve this second layer of conflict in more "peaceful" ways involving less "social waste" has some important implications for the equilibrium structure of groups as well as for the allocation of resources.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 0312005.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 18 Dec 2003
Date of revision: 04 Mar 2004
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0312005

Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on WinXP; pages: 38; figures: none
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: Endogenous group formation; competitive appropriation; conflict management.;

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References

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