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Groups and Social Norms in the Economic Context: A Preliminary Experimental Investigation

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  • Matteo Ploner

    ()

  • Ivan Soraperra

    ()

Abstract

Economics has not widely investigated the role of group identity in defining social norms. The present experiment considers the interplay between choices having social dimension and a notion of group affiliation based on shared intrinsic characteristics. More specifically, a triadic game setting (Cox, 2004) will be presented to detect trust, reciprocity and other-regarding concerns in choices relevant either for IN-group subjects or OUT-group subjects. What emerges from the experiment is that in general subjects do not conform to a rational self-oriented strategy. Discrimination at the group level is not a generalized pattern in our data but emerges clearly only in games involving exclusively other-regarding concerns. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Matteo Ploner & Ivan Soraperra, 2004. "Groups and Social Norms in the Economic Context: A Preliminary Experimental Investigation," CEEL Working Papers 0403, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  • Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpce:0403
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    File URL: http://www-ceel.economia.unitn.it/papers/papero04_03.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
    2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
    3. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Donna Harris & Klaus Abbink, 2012. "In-group favouritism and out-group discimination in naturally occurring groups," Economics Series Working Papers 616, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Tom Lane, 2015. "Discrimination in the laboratory: a meta-analysis," Discussion Papers 2015-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

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