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Identity, Homophily and In-Group Bias

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  • Currarini, Sergio
  • Mengel, Friederike

Abstract

Many Social Interactions display either or both of the following well documented phenomena. People tend to interact with similar others (homophily). And they tend to treat others more favorably if they are perceived to share the same identity (in-group bias). While both phenomena involve some degree of discrimination towards others, a systematic study of their relations and interplay is yet missing. In this paper we report thendings of an experiment designed to address this issue. Participants are exogenously and randomly assigned to one of two groups. Subsequently they play a sequence of eight games with either an in-group or an out-group member. Wend strong evidence of in-group bias when agents are matched exogenously. When agents can a ect who they are matched with, we nd strong evidence of homophily. However, in-group biases either decrease or disappear altogether under en-dogenous matching. Self selection of homophilous agents into in-group matches alone cannot explain this fact. We also show that homophily is strongly correlated with risk aversion, and we use this fact to provide an explanation for both the existence of homophily and the disappearance of in-group biases under endogenous matching.

Suggested Citation

  • Currarini, Sergio & Mengel, Friederike, 2012. "Identity, Homophily and In-Group Bias," Climate Change and Sustainable Development 128705, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:feemcl:128705
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.128705
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    File URL: https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/128705/files/NDL2012-037Rev.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Simon Clark, 2020. ""You're Just My Type!" Matching and Payoffs When Like Attracts Like," Edinburgh School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 295, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    2. Dickinson, David L. & Masclet, David & Peterle, Emmanuel, 2018. "Discrimination as favoritism: The private benefits and social costs of in-group favoritism in an experimental labor market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 220-236.
    3. Anthony Edo & Nicolas Jacquemet & Constantine Yannelis, 2019. "Language skills and homophilous hiring discrimination: Evidence from gender and racially differentiated applications," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 349-376, March.
    4. Bauer, Kevin, 2020. "How did we do? The impact of relative performance feedback on intergroup hostilities," SAFE Working Paper Series 281, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    5. Andrea F. M. Martinangeli, 2017. "Do What (You Think) the Rich Will Do: Inequality and Belief Heterogeneity in Public Good Provision," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2017-06_4, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    6. Artavia-Mora, Luis & Bedi, Arjun S. & Rieger, Matthias, 2018. "Help, Prejudice and Headscarves," IZA Discussion Papers 11460, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Xu, Xue, 2018. "Experiments on cooperation, institutions, and social preferences," Other publications TiSEM d3cf4dba-b0f3-4643-a267-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    8. Xu, Hedong & Fan, Suohai & Tian, Cunzhi & Xiao, Xinrong, 2019. "Effect of strategy-assortativity on investor sharing games in the market," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 514(C), pages 211-225.
    9. Bicskei, Marianna & Lankau, Matthias & Bizer, Kilian, 2014. "Social environment and forms of governance: Monetary and non-monetary punishment and the role of emotions," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 202, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    10. David Hugh-Jones & Martin Alois Leroch, 2017. "Intergroup Revenge: A Laboratory Experiment," Homo Oeconomicus: Journal of Behavioral and Institutional Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 117-135, November.
    11. Cochard, François & Flage, Alexandre & Peterle, Emmanuel, 2019. "Intermediation and discrimination in an investment game: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 196-208.
    12. Fabian Winter & Mitesh Kataria, 2020. "You are who your friends are?," Rationality and Society, , vol. 32(2), pages 223-251, May.
    13. Kets, Willemien & Sandroni, Alvaro, 2019. "A belief-based theory of homophily," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 410-435.
    14. Tom Lane, 2015. "Discrimination in the laboratory: a meta-analysis," Discussion Papers 2015-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    15. Hakobyana, Zaruhi & Koulovatianos, Christos, 2019. "Populism and polarization in social media without fake news: The vicious circle of biases, beliefs and network homophily," CFS Working Paper Series 626, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    16. Daskalova, Vessela, 2018. "Discrimination, social identity, and coordination: An experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 238-252.
    17. Florian Hett & Markus Kröll & Mario Mechtel, 2019. "Choosing Who You Are: The Structure and Behavioral Effects of Revealed Identification Preferences," Working Papers 1903, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.
    18. Hett, Florian & Kröll, Markus & Mechtel, Mario, 2017. "Choosing Who You Are: The Structure and Behavioral Effects of Revealed Identification Preferences," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168223, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    19. Xu, Xue & Potters, Jan & Suetens, Sigrid, 2020. "Cooperative versus competitive interactions and in-group bias," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 69-79.
    20. Bilancini, Ennio & Boncinelli, Leonardo & Wu, Jiabin, 2018. "The interplay of cultural intolerance and action-assortativity for the emergence of cooperation and homophily," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 1-18.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political Economy;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory

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