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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
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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. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-57, March.
  2. 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.
  3. Afridi, Farzana & Li, Sherry Xin & Ren, Yufei, 2012. "Social Identity and Inequality: The Impact of China's Hukou System," IZA Discussion Papers 6417, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. Chakravarty, Surajeet & Fonseca, Miguel A., 2014. "The effect of social fragmentation on public good provision: An experimental study," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 1-9.
  6. 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.
  7. Morita, Hodaka & Servátka, Maroš, 2013. "Group identity and relation-specific investment: An experimental investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 95-109.
  8. 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," Working Papers 06-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  9. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  10. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
  11. 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.
  12. R. M. Isaac & J. M. Walker, 2010. "Group size effects in public goods provision: The voluntary contribution mechanism," Levine's Working Paper Archive 310, David K. Levine.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Daniel J. Benjamin & James J. Choi & A. Joshua Strickland, 2007. "Social Identity and Preferences," NBER Working Papers 13309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Simon Gächter & Arno Riedl, 2003. "Moral Property Rights in Bargaining with Infeasible Claims," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-055/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  17. Marion Eberlein & Gari Walkowitz, 2008. "Positive and Negative Team Identity in a Promotion Game," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse13_2008, University of Bonn, Germany.
  18. McLeish, Kendra N. & Oxoby, Robert J., 2007. "Identity, Cooperation, and Punishment," IZA Discussion Papers 2572, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
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