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Revealing the Economic Consequences of Group Cohesion

Author

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  • Gächter, Simon

    () (University of Nottingham)

  • Starmer, Chris

    () (University of Nottingham)

  • Tufano, Fabio

    () (University of Nottingham)

Abstract

We introduce the concept of "group cohesion" to capture the economic consequences of ubiquitous social relationships in group production. We measure group cohesion, adapting the "oneness scale" from psychology. A comprehensive program of new experiments reveals the considerable economic impact of cohesion: higher cohesion groups are significantly more likely to achieve Pareto-superior outcomes in classic weak-link coordination games. We show that effects of cohesion are economically large, robust, and portable. We identify social preferences as a primary mechanism explaining the effects of cohesion. Our results provide proof of concept for group cohesion as a productive new tool of economic research.

Suggested Citation

  • Gächter, Simon & Starmer, Chris & Tufano, Fabio, 2017. "Revealing the Economic Consequences of Group Cohesion," IZA Discussion Papers 10824, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10824
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2011. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants, And Behavioral Consequences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 522-550, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Gächter, Simon & Johnson, Eric J. & Herrmann, Andreas, 2007. "Individual-Level Loss Aversion in Riskless and Risky Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 2961, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Reuben, Ernesto & van Winden, Frans, 2008. "Social ties and coordination on negative reciprocity: The role of affect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 34-53, February.
    5. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    weak-link game; coordination; oneness; group cohesion; social relationships; experiments; real groups;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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