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Conformity in Contribution Games: Gender and Group Effects

  • C. Monica Capra
  • Lei Li

Psychologists have established that task complexity, gender, and group identity affect conformity rates. We test the effects of these variables in contribution games. Our experiments consist of two parts: a public goods and a dictator game, both are played once. After subjects make their initial choices, they can revise them. Before revising, they are allowed to choose among different payoff irrelevant information regarding choices made by other cohorts that differed in class and gender. Our data are consistent with some of the findings in the psychology literature. We find that complexity matters. We find no gender or group effects on conformity rates. However, gender has weak effects when combined with group identity.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta) in its series Emory Economics with number 0601.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:0601
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://economics.emory.edu/home/journals/
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  1. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
  2. James C. Cox & Cary A. Deck, 2006. "When Are Women More Generous than Men?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(4), pages 587-598, October.
  3. Bardsley, Nicholas & Sausgruber, Rupert, 2005. "Conformity and reciprocity in public good provision," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 664-681, October.
  4. Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gächter, . "Living in Two Neighborhoods - Social Interactions in the Lab," IEW - Working Papers 150, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  5. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2004. "When in Rome: conformity and the provision of public goods," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 395-408, September.
  6. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-35, May.
  7. Timothy N. Cason & Vai-Lam Mui, 1998. "Social Influence in the Sequential Dictator Game," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-37, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  8. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  9. Bohnet, Iris & Frey, Bruno S., 1999. "The sound of silence in prisoner's dilemma and dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 43-57, January.
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