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Other-regarding Preferences, Group Identity and Political Participation: An Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Pedro Robalo

    (CREED, University of Amsterdam)

  • Arthur Schram

    (CREED, University of Amsterdam)

  • Joep Sonnemans

    (CREED, University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

We experimentally study the relationship between other-regarding preferences, group identity and political participation. In doing so, we propose a novel group identity induction procedure that succeeds in creating environments where in-group bias is either high or low. At the individual level, we find that both altruistic subjects and group identifiers participate above average. The most competitive subjects participate much less often than other types, while the most altruistic subjects manage to sustain high participation levels. At the aggregate level, we observe only few statistically significant differences between environments where group identity is high and low. This suggests that the higher participation observed in field settings for close-knit (political) groups might be due to underlying mobilization processes rather than a heightened sense of group-belonging.

Suggested Citation

  • Pedro Robalo & Arthur Schram & Joep Sonnemans, 2013. "Other-regarding Preferences, Group Identity and Political Participation: An Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-079/I, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20130079
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    File URL: https://papers.tinbergen.nl/13079.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:103:y:2009:i:02:p:175-192_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Evren, Özgür, 2012. "Altruism and voting: A large-turnout result that does not rely on civic duty or cooperative behavior," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(6), pages 2124-2157.
    3. Thomas Palfrey & Howard Rosenthal, 1983. "A strategic calculus of voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 7-53, January.
    4. van Dijk, Frans & Sonnemans, Joep & van Winden, Frans, 2002. "Social ties in a public good experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 275-299, August.
    5. 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.
    6. Timothy J. Feddersen, 2004. "Rational Choice Theory and the Paradox of Not Voting," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 99-112, Winter.
    7. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    8. Ben-Ner, Avner & McCall, Brian P. & Stephane, Massoud & Wang, Hua, 2009. "Identity and in-group/out-group differentiation in work and giving behaviors: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 153-170, October.
    9. Offerman, Theo & Sonnemans, Joep & Schram, Arthur, 1996. "Value Orientations, Expectations and Voluntary Contributions in Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 817-845, July.
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    11. Aaron Edlin & Andrew Gelman & Noah Kaplan, 2007. "Voting as a Rational Choice: Why and How People Vote to Improve the Well-Being of Others," NBER Working Papers 13562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. repec:cup:apsrev:v:99:y:2005:i:02:p:201-213_05 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-457, March.
    14. Schram, Arthur & Sonnemans, Joep, 1996. "Why people vote: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 417-442, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jordi Brandts & Leonie Gerhards & Lydia Mechtenberg, 2018. "Deliberative Structures and their Impact on Voting under Economic Conflict," Working Papers 1022, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Group identity; Other-regarding preferences; Political participation; Participation Game; Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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