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Stability and Segregation in Group Formation

  • Igal Milchtaich

    ()

  • Eyal Winter

    ()

This paper presents a model of group formation based on the assumption that individuals prefer to associate with people similar to them. It is shown that, in general, if the number of groups that can be formed is bounded, then a stable partition of the society into groups may not exist. A partition is defined as stable if none of the individuals would prefer be in a different group than the one he is in. However, if individuals’ characteristics are one-dimensional, then a stable partition always exists. We give sufficient conditions for stable partitions to be segregating (in the sense that, for example, low-characteristic individuals are in one group and high-characteristic ones are in another) and Pareto efficient. In addition, we propose a dynamic model of individual myopic behavior describing the evolution of group formation to an eventual stable, segregating, and Pareto efficient partition.

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File URL: http://ratio.huji.ac.il/sites/default/files/publications/dp263.pdf
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Paper provided by The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem in its series Discussion Paper Series with number dp263.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Games and Economic Behavior, 2002, vol. 38, pp. 318-346.
Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp263
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  1. Bryan Ellickson and Birgit Grodal, Suzanne Scotchmer, and William R.Zame., 1997. "Clubs and the Market: Large Finite Economies," Economics Working Papers 97-255, University of California at Berkeley.
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  15. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Peleg, Bezalel & Whinston, Michael D., 1987. "Coalition-Proof Nash Equilibria I. Concepts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-12, June.
  16. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  17. Westhoff, Frank, 1977. "Existence of equilibria in economies with a local public good," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 84-112, February.
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