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Session Size and its Effect on Identity Building: Evidence from a public goods experiment

  • Weng, Qian

    ()

    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

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    The effect of session size has largely been ignored in experimental studies, despite the possibility that it may play a role by changing people’s perception of the potential chance of encountering a certain type of people and by affecting the strength of the potential link between people. This paper investigates how the effect of an induced common identity on individual cooperative behavior differs depending on session size in a repeated public goods experiment with constant group size and partner matching. We find that induced identity significantly enhances cooperation only when the session size is small and only in the initial period. In all other periods, the effect of induced identity on cooperation is the same in small and large sessions, suggesting that session size is not a confounding factor of identity in repeated interaction settings.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/32521
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    Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 560.

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    Length: 16 pages
    Date of creation: 08 Mar 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0560
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
    Phone: 031-773 10 00
    Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/

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    1. Isaac, R. Mark & Walker, James M. & Williams, Arlington W., 1994. "Group size and the voluntary provision of public goods : Experimental evidence utilizing large groups," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-36, May.
    2. McLeish, Kendra N. & Oxoby, Robert J., 2007. "Identity, Cooperation, and Punishment," IZA Discussion Papers 2572, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Lorenz Goette & David Huffman & Stephan Meier & Matthias Sutter, 2012. "Competition Between Organizational Groups: Its Impact on Altruistic and Antisocial Motivations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(5), pages 948-960, May.
    4. Hodaka Morita & Maroš Servátka, 2012. "Group Identity and Relation-Specific Investment: An Experimental Investigation," Working Papers in Economics 12/16, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
    5. Helen Bernhard & Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2006. "Group Affiliation and Altruistic Norm Enforcement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 217-221, May.
    6. Simon Gächter & Arno Riedl, 2005. "Moral Property Rights in Bargaining with Infeasible Claims," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(2), pages 249-263, February.
    7. Farzana Afridi & Sherry Xin Li & Yufei Ren, 2010. "Social Identity and Inequality: The Impact of China's Hokou System," Working Papers id:3003, eSocialSciences.
    8. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    9. Daniel J. Benjamin & James J. Choi & A. Joshua Strickland, 2010. "Social Identity and Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1913-28, September.
    10. Smith, Alexander, 2011. "Group composition and conditional cooperation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 616-622.
    11. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2005. "Managing diversity by creating team identity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 371-392, November.
    12. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-57, March.
    13. Lorenz Goette & David Huffman & Stephan Meier, 2006. "The Impact of Group Membership on Cooperation and Norm Enforcement: Evidence Using Random Assignment to Real Social Groups," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 212-216, May.
    14. Surajeet Chakravarty & Miguel A. Fonseca, 2012. "The Effect of Social Fragmentation on Public Good Provision: an Experimental Study," Discussion Papers 1207, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
    15. Isaac, R Mark & Walker, James M, 1988. "Group Size Effects in Public Goods Provision: The Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 179-99, February.
    16. Marion Eberlein & Gari Walkowitz, 2008. "Positive and Negative Team Identity in a Promotion Game," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse13_2008, University of Bonn, Germany.
    17. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
    18. Gerhard Riener & Alexander Schacht, 2011. "Group Identity and Discrimination in Small Markets: Asymmetry of In-Group Favors," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-043, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
    19. Roy Chen & Yan Chen, 2011. "The Potential of Social Identity for Equilibrium Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2562-89, October.
    20. Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap & Daniel John Zizzo, 2009. "The Value of Groups," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 295-323, March.
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