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Individual Behavior and Group Membership: Comment

  • Matthias Sutter

Charness et al. (2007b) have shown that group membership has a strong effect on individual decisions in strategic games when group membership is salient through payoff commonality. In this comment, I show that their findings also apply to nonstrategic decisions, even when no outgroup exists, and I relate the effects of group membership on individual decisions to joint decision making in teams. I find in an investment experiment that individual decisions with salient group membership are largely the same as team decisions. This finding bridges the literature on team decision making and on group membership effects. (JEL D71, D82, Z13)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 99 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 2247-57

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:5:p:2247-57
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.5.2247
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  1. Gneezy, U. & Potters, J.J.M., 1996. "An experiment on risk taking and evaluation periods," Discussion Paper 1996-61, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Wolfgang J. Luhan & Martin G. Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2006. "Group Polarization in the Team Dictator Game reconsidered," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-099/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Gary Bornstein & Ilan Yaniv, 1998. "Individual and Group Behavior in the Ultimatum Game: Are Groups More “Rational” Players?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 101-108, June.
  4. Kocher, Martin G. & Sutter, Matthias, 2005. "The decision maker matters: Individual versus group behaviour in experimental beauty-contest games," Munich Reprints in Economics 18213, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Charness, Gary B & Karni, Edi, 2007. "Individual and Group Decision Making Under Risk: An Experimental Study of Bayesian Updating and Violations of First-order Stochastic Dominance," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt4gr7j8z8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  6. Gary Bornstein & Matthias Sutter & Tamar Kugler & Martin G. Kocher, . "Trust between individuals and groups: Groups are less rusting than individuals but just as trustworthy," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-02, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  7. Gary Bornstein & Tamar Kugler & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2002. "Individual and Group Decisions in the Centipede Game: Are Groups More “Rational” Players?," Discussion Paper Series dp298, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  8. Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Deception through telling the truth?! Experimental evidence from individuals and teams," Working Papers 2007-26, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  9. Charness, Gary & Jackson, Matthew O., 2009. "The role of responsibility in strategic risk-taking," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 241-247, March.
  10. Sutter, Matthias & Strassmair, Christina, 2007. "Communication, cooperation and collusion in team tournaments - An experimental study," Discussion Papers in Economics 2016, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. Rockenbach, Bettina & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim & Mathauschek, Barbara, 2007. "Teams take the better risks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 412-422, July.
  12. Sutter, Matthias, 2007. "Are teams prone to myopic loss aversion? An experimental study on individual versus team investment behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 128-132, November.
  13. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  14. Lorenz Goette & David Huffman & Stephan Meier, 2006. "The Impact of Group Membership on Cooperation and Norm Enforcement: Evidence Using Random Assignment to Real Social Groups," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 212-216, May.
  15. Uri Gneezy & Arie Kapteyn & Jan Potters, 2002. "Evaluation Periods and Assett Prices in a Market Experiment," Working Papers 02-02, RAND Corporation.
  16. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. David J. Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better Than One? Team versus Individual Play in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 477-509, June.
  18. Gillet, Joris & Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 2009. "The tragedy of the commons revisited: The importance of group decision-making," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 785-797, June.
  19. John List & Michael Haigh, 2005. "Do professional traders exhibit myopic loss aversion? An experimental analysis," Artefactual Field Experiments 00052, The Field Experiments Website.
  20. Gary Charness & Luca Rigotti & Aldo Rustichini, 2007. "Individual Behavior and Group Membership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1340-1352, September.
  21. Cason, Timothy N & Mui, Vai-Lam, 1997. "A Laboratory Study of Group Polarisation in the Team Dictator Game," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1465-83, September.
  22. Charness, Gary B & Levin, Dan & Karni, Edi, 2008. "On the Conjunction Fallacy in Probability Judgment: New Experimental Evidence," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt2dn4t727, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  23. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-57, March.
  24. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
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