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Reputation, social identity and social conflict

  • Smith, John

We interpret the social identity literature and examine its economic implications. We model a population of agents from two exogenous and well defined social groups. Agents are randomly matched to play a reduced form bargaining game. We show that this struggle for resources drives a conflict through the rational destruction of surplus. We assume that the population contains both unbiased and biased players. Biased players aggressively discriminate against members of the other social group. The existence and specification of the biased player is motivated by the social identity literature. For unbiased players, group membership has no payoff relevant consequences. We show that the unbiased players can contribute to the conflict by aggressively discriminating and that this behavior is consistent with existing empirical evidence.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 18082.

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Date of creation: 22 Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18082
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  1. John Davis, 2006. "Social identity strategies in recent economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 371-390.
  2. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2002. "Interpreting ethnic fragmentation effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 271-276, April.
  3. Lindqvist, Erik & Östling, Robert, 2006. "Identity and Redistribution," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 659, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 12 Jun 2007.
  4. Rohner, Dominic, 2011. "Reputation, group structure and social tensions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 188-199, November.
  5. Strulik, Holger, 2006. "Social Composition, Social Conflict, and Economic Development," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-350, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  6. Götte, Lorenz & Huffman, David B. & Meier, Stephan, 2006. "The Impact of Group Membership on Cooperation and Norm Enforcement: Evidence using Random Assignment to Real Social Groups," IZA Discussion Papers 2020, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
  8. Rapoport, Hillel & Weiss, Avi, 2003. "The optimal size for a minority," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 27-45, September.
  9. Davis, John B., 2015. "Lawson on Veblen on Social Ontology," Working Papers and Research 2015-03, Marquette University, Center for Global and Economic Studies and Department of Economics.
  10. Dan Silverman, 2004. "Street Crime And Street Culture," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 761-786, 08.
  11. Basu, Kaushik, 2005. "Racial Conflict and the Malignancy of Identity," Working Papers 05-02, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  12. Keisuke Nakao, 2009. "Creation of Social Order in Ethnic Conflict," Journal of Theoretical Politics, SAGE Publishing, vol. 21(3), pages 365-394, July.
  13. David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1999. "Reputation and Imperfect Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 238, David K. Levine.
  14. Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William & Alesina, Alberto, 1999. "Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions," Scholarly Articles 4551797, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  16. Werner Güth & M. Vittoria Levati & Matteo Ploner, 2007. "Social identity and trust - An experimental investigation," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-41, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  17. Benjamin Bridgman, . "Why Are Ethnically Divided Countries Poor?," Departmental Working Papers 2003-11, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  18. Gary Charness & Luca Rigotti & Aldo Rustichini, 2007. "Individual Behavior and Group Membership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1340-1352, September.
  19. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
  20. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
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