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The Effect of Group Identity in an Investment Game


  • Werner Güth


  • Matteo Ploner
  • Vittoria Levati



The present research experimentally examines the influence of group identity on trust behavior in an investment game. In one treatment, group identity is manipulated only through the creation of artificial (minimal) groups. In other treatments group members are additionally related by outcome interdependence established in a prior public goods game. In moving from the standard investment game (where no group identity is prompted) to minimal group identity to two-dimensional group identity, we find no significant differences in trust decisions. However, trust is significantly positively correlated with contribution decisions. This suggests that cooperative attitudes are idiosyncratic preferences, which are not affected by the creation of an arbitrary group identity.

Suggested Citation

  • Werner Güth & Matteo Ploner & Vittoria Levati, "undated". "The Effect of Group Identity in an Investment Game," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-06, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2005-06

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gneezy, Uri & Guth, Werner & Verboven, Frank, 2000. "Presents or investments? An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 481-493, October.
    2. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, Georg & Riedl, Arno, 1998. "Gift exchange and reciprocity in competitive experimental markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-34, January.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    4. Frey, Bruno S. & Bohnet, Iris, 1997. "Identification in democratic society," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 25-38.
    5. Buchan, Nancy & Croson, Rachel, 2004. "The boundaries of trust: own and others' actions in the US and China," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 485-504, December.
    6. Werner Güth & Vittoria Levati & Rupert Sausgruber, 2005. "Tax morale and (de-)centralization: An experimental study," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 125(1), pages 171-188, July.
    7. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Falk, Armin & Zehnder, Christian, 2013. "A city-wide experiment on trust discrimination," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 15-27.
    2. Armin Falk & Christian Zehnder, 2007. "Discrimination and In-group Favoritism in a Citywide Trust Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 318, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    3. David Masclet & Emmanuel Peterle & Sophie Larribeau, 2012. "The Role of Information in Deterring Discrimination: A New Experimental Evidence of Statistical Discrimination," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201238, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    4. Werner Güth & M. Vittoria Levati & Matteo Ploner, 2008. "The Impact of Payoff Interdependence on Trust and Trustworthiness," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 87-95, February.
    5. Matteo Ploner, 2005. "Trust and Detection: An Experimental Investigation of Motivational Crowding Out," CEEL Working Papers 0502, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    6. Butler Jeffrey V., 2014. "Trust, Truth, Status and Identity: An Experimental Inquiry," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 14(1), pages 1-46, February.
    7. 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.

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    trust; group identity; outcome interdependence; experiment;

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