Groups and Social Norms in the Economic Context: A Preliminary Experimental Investigation
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.
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- 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.
- Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
- 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.
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