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Cooperation and the in-group-out-group bias: A field test on Israeli kibbutz members and city residents

  • Ruffle, Bradley J.
  • Sosis, Richard

The in-group-out-group bias is among the most widely documented and analyzed phenomenon in the social sciences. We conduct field experiments to test whether the bias extends to the cooperative behavior of one of the most successful modern collectives, the Israeli kibbutz. Despite their promise as universal cooperators, kibbutz members are more cooperative toward anonymous kibbutz members than they are toward anonymous city residents. In fact, when paired with city residents, kibbutz members' observed levels of cooperation are identical to those of city residents. Moreover, self-selection rather than kibbutz socialization largely accounts for the extent to which kibbutz members are cooperative.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 60 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 147-163

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:60:y:2006:i:2:p:147-163
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  1. Jeffrey P. Carpenter, 2000. "Negotiation in the Commons: Incorporating Field and Experimental Evidence into a Theory of Local Collective Action," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 156(4), pages 661-, December.
  2. Roth, Alvin E. & Vesna Prasnikar & Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara & Shmuel Zamir, 1991. "Bargaining and Market Behavior in Jerusalem, Ljubljana, Pittsburgh, and Tokyo: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1068-95, December.
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  5. Nash, John, 1953. "Two-Person Cooperative Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 21(1), pages 128-140, April.
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  8. Samuel, Yitzhak & Heilbrunn, Sibylle, 2001. "Entrepreneurship in the Kibbutz Setting: Towards a Classification of New Business Ventures," Journal of Rural Cooperation, Hebrew University, Center for Agricultural Economic Research, vol. 29(1).
  9. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
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