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Racial conflict and the malignancy of identity

  • Kaushik Basu

    ()

This paper demonstrates how our sense of identity can emerge out of mere markers of social distinction that may have no innate significance, but, nevertheless, spread to various aspects of our lives and be the root of conflict. The basis of such conflicts could arise from the use of race to form conditional judgments about people's behavior. Moreover, there are contexts where racial conflict is inevitable even though, if individuals had common knowledge of one another's preferences, there would be no conflict. It is argued that this kind of conflict, where many individuals have no innate aggressive preference, is widespread and understanding the process that gives rise to such conflict is the key to crafting effective policy that contains it.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10888-005-9002-8
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Article provided by Springer in its journal The Journal of Economic Inequality.

Volume (Year): 3 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 221-241

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:3:y:2005:i:3:p:221-241
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://springerlink.metapress.com/link.asp?id=111137

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  1. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, June.
  2. Sandeep Baliga & Tomas Sjostrom, 2001. "Arms Races and Negotiations," Economics Working Papers 0007, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  3. Andreoni, James & Samuelson, Larry, 2006. "Building rational cooperation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 117-154, March.
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  5. Roland G. Fryer & Matthew O. Jackson, 2002. "Categorical Cognition: A Psychological Model of Categories and Identification in Decision Making," Microeconomics 0211002, EconWPA.
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  7. David Austen-Smith & Roland G. Fryer, 2003. "The Economics of 'Acting White'," NBER Working Papers 9904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jorgen W. Weibull, 1997. "Evolutionary Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262731215, June.
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