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Identities, selection, and contributions in a public-goods game

Author

Listed:
  • Charness, Gary
  • Cobo-Reyes, Ramón
  • Jiménez, Natalia

Abstract

The notions of one's social identity and group membership have recently become topics for economic theory and experiments, and recent research has shown the importance of identity in a wide array of economic environments. But predictions are unclear when there is some trade-off between one's identity (e.g., race, gender, handedness) and potential monetary considerations. We conduct a public-goods experiment in which we permit endogenous group-formation. In a 2×2 design, we vary whether people participate in a team-building exercise and whether some people receive an endowment twice as much as others receive. We find that when both identity and financial considerations are present, high-endowment participants are strongly attracted to each other, with one's word-task-group affiliation eclipsed by the opportunity to earn more. Nevertheless, the team-building exercise greatly increases the level of contribution whether or not one is linked to people from one's team-building exercise.

Suggested Citation

  • Charness, Gary & Cobo-Reyes, Ramón & Jiménez, Natalia, 2014. "Identities, selection, and contributions in a public-goods game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 322-338.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:87:y:2014:i:c:p:322-338 DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2014.05.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hett, Florian & Kröll, Markus & Mechtel, Mario, 2017. "Choosing Who You Are: The Structure and Behavioral Effects of Revealed Identification Preferences," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168223, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. repec:eee:gamebe:v:105:y:2017:i:c:p:276-296 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Currarini, Sergio & Mengel, Friederike, 2016. "Identity, homophily and in-group bias," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 40-55.
    4. Grund, Christian & Harbring, Christine & Thommes, Kirsten, 2016. "Group (Re-)formation in Public Good Games: The Tale of the Bad Apple," IZA Discussion Papers 9982, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Lu, Peng, 2015. "Learn good from bad: Effects of good and bad neighbors in spatial prisoners’ dilemma games," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 436(C), pages 351-358.
    6. Tobias Cagala & Ulrich Glogowsky & Veronika Grimm & Johannes Rincke, 2017. "Public Goods Provision with Rent-Extracting Administrators," CESifo Working Paper Series 6801, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Lu, Peng & Wang, Fang, 2015. "Heterogeneity of inferring reputation probability in cooperative behaviors for the spatial prisoners’ dilemma game," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 433(C), pages 367-378.
    8. repec:eee:gamebe:v:104:y:2017:i:c:p:24-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Karl H.Schlag, 2015. "Who gives Direction to Statistical Testing? Best Practice meets Mathematically Correct Tests," Vienna Economics Papers 1512, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    10. Lu, Peng, 2015. "Imitating winner or sympathizing loser? Quadratic effects on cooperative behavior in prisoners’ dilemma games," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 436(C), pages 327-337.
    11. Chowdhury, Subhasish M. & Jeon, Joo Young & Ramalingam, Abhijit, 2016. "Identity and group conflict," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 107-121.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Experiment; Identity; Team building; Public goods contributions;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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