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Simultaneous inter- and intra-group conflicts

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  • Münster, Johannes
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    Abstract

    This paper models the trade-off between production and appropriation in the presence of simultaneous inter- and intra-group conflicts. The model exhibits a 'group cohesion effect': if the contest between the groups becomes more decisive, or contractual incompleteness between groups becomes more serious, the players devote fewer resources to the intra-group conflict. Moreover, there is also a 'reversed group cohesion effect': if the intra-group contests become less decisive, or contractual incompleteness within groups becomes less serious, the players devote more resources to the inter-group contest. The model also sheds new light on normative questions. I derive exact conditions for when dividing individuals in more groups leads to more productive and less appropriative activities. Furthermore, I show that there is an optimal size of the organization which is determined by a trade-off between increasing returns to scale in production and increasing costs of appropriative activities. -- Dieser Aufsatz modelliert den Trade-Off zwischen Produktion und Aneignung in Situationen, die sowohl von Konflikten innerhalb von Gruppen, als auch von Konflikten zwischen den Gruppen gekennzeichnet sind. Das Modell beleuchtet einen Gruppen-Kohäsions-Effekt: Wenn der Wettkampf zwischen Gruppen schärfer wird, oder Probleme unvollständiger Verträge zwischen Gruppen zunehmen, dann wenden die Spieler weniger Ressourcen in den internen Konflikten auf. Außerdem gibt es auch einen umgekehrten Gruppen-Kohäsions- Effekt: Werden die Wettkämpfe innerhalb der Gruppen weniger scharf, oder Probleme unvollständiger Verträge innerhalb der Gruppen weniger gravierend, dann verwenden die Spieler mehr Energie auf den Wettkampf zwischen den Gruppen. Der Aufsatz wirft auch ein neues Licht auf normative Fragen der optimalen Gestaltung von Organisationen. Ich leite eine exakte Bedingung her, unter der eine Aufteilung der Individuen in mehr Gruppen zu mehr produktiven Anstrengungen und weniger Aneignungsaktivitäten führt. Außerdem zeige ich, dass es eine optimale Größe von Organisationen gibt, die durch simultane interund intra- Gruppen Konflikte gekennzeichnet sind. Die optimale Größe bestimmt sich durch einen Trade-Off zwischen steigenden Skalenerträgen in der Produktion einerseits und zunehmenden Aneignungsaktivitäten andererseits.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance with number SP II 2005-08.

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    Date of creation: 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmpg:spii200508

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    Related research

    Keywords: Conflict; rent-seeking; federalism; hierarchy;

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    References

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    1. Gary Bornstein, 2002. "Intergroup conflict: Individual, group and collective interests," Discussion Paper Series dp297, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    2. Stergios Skaperdas, 2003. "Restraining the Genuine Homo Economicus: Why the Economy Cannot be Divorced from its Governance," CESifo Working Paper Series 901, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
    4. Katz, Eliakim & Tokatlidu, Julia, 1996. "Group competition for rents," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 599-607, December.
    5. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1991. "Collective Rent Dissipation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1522-34, November.
    6. Stergios Skaperdas, 1996. "Contest success functions (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-290.
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