IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Reputation, Social Identity and Social Conflict


We interpret the social identity literature and examine its economic implications. We model a population of agents from two exogenous and well defined social groups. Agents are randomly matched to play a reduced form bargaining game. We show that this struggle for resources drives a conflict through the rational destruction of surplus. We assume that the population contains both unbiased and biased players. Biased players aggressively discriminate against members of the other social group. The existence and specification of the biased player is motivated by the social identity literature. For unbiased players, group membership has no payoff relevant consequences. We show that the unbiased players can contribute to the conflict by aggressively discriminating and that this behavior is consistent with existing empirical evidence.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Association for Public Economic Theory in its journal Journal of Public Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 14 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (08)
Pages: 677-709

in new window

Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:14:y:2012:i:4:p:677-709
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Lindqvist, Erik, 2008. "Identity and Redistribution," Working Paper Series 735, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  2. Bridgman, Benjamin, 2008. "Why are ethnically divided countries poor?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-18, March.
  3. Rapoport, Hillel & Weiss, Avi, 2003. "The optimal size for a minority," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 27-45, September.
  4. Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. John B. Davis, 2005. "Social Identity Strategies in Recent Economics," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-078/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. Strulik, Holger, 2006. "Social Composition, Social Conflict, and Economic Development," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-350, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  7. 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.
  8. Basu, Kaushik, 2005. "Racial Conflict and the Malignancy of Identity," Working Papers 05-02, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  9. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
  10. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
  11. 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," Working Papers 06-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  12. Davis, John B., 2005. "Lawson on Veblen on Social Ontology," Working Papers and Research 2015-03, Marquette University, Center for Global and Economic Studies and Department of Economics.
  13. Güth, Werner & Levati, M. Vittoria & Ploner, Matteo, 2008. "Social identity and trust--An experimental investigation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1293-1308, August.
  14. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:3:p:681-712 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Rohner, Dominic, 2011. "Reputation, group structure and social tensions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 188-199, November.
  16. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:4:p:1203-50 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Keisuke Nakao, 2009. "Creation of Social Order in Ethnic Conflict," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 21(3), pages 365-394, July.
  18. Dan Silverman, 2004. "Street Crime And Street Culture," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 761-786, 08.
  19. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  20. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2002. "Interpreting ethnic fragmentation effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 271-276, April.
  21. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:3:p:715-753 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:14:y:2012:i:4:p:677-709. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.