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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 23336.

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Date of creation: 08 Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:23336
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  1. Kaushik Basu, 2005. "Racial conflict and the malignancy of identity," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 221-241, December.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Lindqvist, Erik, 2008. "Identity and Redistribution," Working Paper Series 735, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. Strulik, Holger, 2006. "Social Composition, Social Conflict, and Economic Development," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-350, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  7. Davis, John B., 2005. "Lawson on Veblen on Social Ontology," Working Papers and Research 2015-03, Marquette University, Center for Global and Economic Studies and Department of Economics.
  8. John B. Davis, 2005. "Social Identity Strategies in Recent Economics," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-078/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  9. 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.
  10. Keisuke Nakao, 2009. "Creation of Social Order in Ethnic Conflict," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 21(3), pages 365-394, July.
  11. Benjamin Bridgman, . "Why Are Ethnically Divided Countries Poor?," Departmental Working Papers 2003-11, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  12. Rapoport, Hillel & Weiss, Avi, 2003. "The optimal size for a minority," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 27-45, September.
  13. repec:oup:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:3:p:715-753 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. repec:oup:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:4:p:1203-50 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
  16. Dominic Rohner, 2008. "Reputation, Group Structure and Social Tensions," HiCN Working Papers 40, Households in Conflict Network.
  17. repec:oup:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:3:p:681-712 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
  19. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
  20. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2002. "Interpreting ethnic fragmentation effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 271-276, April.
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