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Group Identity and Social Preferences

  • Yan Chen
  • Sherry Xin Li
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    We present a laboratory experiment that measures the effects of induced group identity on social preferences. We find that when participants are matched with an ingroup member, they show a 47 percent increase in charity concerns and a 93 percent decrease in envy. Likewise, participants are 19 percent more likely to reward an ingroup match for good behavior, but 13 percent less likely to punish an ingroup match for misbehavior. Furthermore, participants are significantly more likely to choose social-welfare-maximizing actions when matched with an ingroup member. All results are consistent with the hypothesis that participants are more altruistic toward an ingroup match. (JEL C91, D03, Z13)

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.99.1.431
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/mar09/20061107_data.zip
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    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 99 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 431-57

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:1:p:431-57
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.1.431
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    1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
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    9. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
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    16. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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