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Is it a norm to favour your own group?

Listed author(s):
  • Donna Harris

    ()

  • Benedikt Herrmann

    ()

  • Andreas Kontoleon
  • Jonathan Newton

This paper examines the relationship between norm enforcement and in-group favouritism behaviour. Using a new two-stage allocation experiment with punishments, we investigate whether in-group favouritism is considered as a social norm in itself or as a violation of a different norm, such as egalitarian norm. We find that which norm of behaviour is enforced depends on who the punisher is. If the punishers belong to the in-group, in-group favouritism is considered a norm and it does not get punished. If the punishers belong to the out-group, in-group favouritism is frequently punished. If the punishers belong to no group and merely observe in-group favouritism (the third-party), they do not seem to care sufficiently to be willing to punish this behaviour. Our results shed a new light on the effectiveness of altruistic norm enforcement when group identities are taken into account and help to explain why in-group favouritism is widespread across societies. Copyright Economic Science Association 2015

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10683-014-9417-9
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Article provided by Springer & Economic Science Association in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2015)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 491-521

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:18:y:2015:i:3:p:491-521
DOI: 10.1007/s10683-014-9417-9
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