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Social Identity and Preferences

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  • Daniel J. Benjamin
  • James J. Choi
  • A. Joshua Strickland

Abstract

Social identities prescribe behaviors for people. We identify the marginal behavioral effect of these norms on discount rates and risk aversion by measuring how laboratory subjects' choices change when an aspect of social identity is made salient. When we make ethnic identity salient to Asian-American subjects, they make more patient choices. When we make racial identity salient to black subjects, non-immigrant blacks (but not immigrant blacks) make more patient choices. Making gender identity salient has no effect on intertemporal or risk choices. (JEL D81, J15, J16, Z13 )

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel J. Benjamin & James J. Choi & A. Joshua Strickland, 2010. "Social Identity and Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1913-1928, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:4:p:1913-28
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.4.1913
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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