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Group Membership, Team Preferences, and Expectations (This is a new version of CEEL WP 6-09)

  • Francesco Guala

    ()

  • Luigi Mittone

    ()

  • Matteo Ploner

    ()

Group membership increases cooperation in social dilemma games, altruistic donation in dictator games, and fair offers in ultimatum games. While the empirical study of group action has grown rapidly over the years, there is little agreement at the theoretical level on exactly why and how group membership changes individual behaviour. According to some theorists, the effect of group framing is channelled primarily via the beliefs of group members, while others identify changes in preference as the key explanatory mechanism. We report an experiment using the minimal group paradigm and a prisoner’s dilemma with multiple actions, in which we manipulate players’ beliefs and show that common knowledge of group affiliation is necessary for group action. We also observe puzzling variations in behaviour when knowledge of group membership is asymmetric, which may be interpreted as cognitive dissonance generated by a normative cue administered in a highly unusual situation.

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Paper provided by Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia in its series CEEL Working Papers with number 1203.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpce:1203
Contact details of provider: Postal: Via Inama 5, 38100 Trento
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Web page: http://www-ceel.economia.unitn.it

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  1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521618618 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2005. "Managing diversity by creating team identity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 371-392, November.
  3. Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap & Daniel John Zizzo, 2009. "The Value of Groups," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 295-323, March.
  4. Binmore, Ken, 2005. "Natural Justice," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195178111, March.
  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. John List & Steven Levitt, 2007. "Viewpoint: On the generalizability of lab behaviour to the field," Artefactual Field Experiments 00001, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Daniel Zizzo, 2011. "You are not in my boat: common fate and discrimination against outgroup members," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 91-103, March.
  8. Bradley J. Ruffle & Richard H. Sosis, 2003. "Cooperation and the In-Group-Out-Group Bias: A Field Test on Israeli Kibbutz Members and City Residents," Experimental 0310002, EconWPA.
  9. Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus & Mollerstrom, Johanna & Munkhammar, Sara, 2012. "Social framing effects: Preferences or beliefs?," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 117-130.
  10. Bicchieri, Cristina & Erte, Xiao, 2007. "Do the right thing: But only if others do so," MPRA Paper 4609, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521853408 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Güth, Werner & Ploner, Matteo & Regner, Tobias, 2009. "Determinants of in-group bias: Is group affiliation mediated by guilt-aversion?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 814-827, October.
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