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Group Identity and Social Preferences

Author

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  • Yan Chen
  • Sherry Xin Li

Abstract

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)

Suggested Citation

  • Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-457, March.
  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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