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On the Stability of Group Formation: Managing the Conflict Within

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  • Michelle R. Garfinkel

    (University of California-Irvine)

Abstract

This paper develops a positive analysis of stable group formation, highlighting the role of conflict management within groups. The analysis is based on a model of sequential conflict, starting with a "winner- take-all" contest for control of some resource. When a group forms, members pool their efforts in that contest and, if successful, apply the resource to a joint production process. While reducing the severity of conflict over the contestable resource relative to the case of individual conflict, the formation of groups adds another layer of conflict---that is, one between the members of the winning group over the distribution of their joint product. The effectiveness of conflict management in enabling groups to resolve this second layer of conflict in more "peaceful" ways involving less "social waste" has some important implications for the equilibrium structure of groups as well as for the allocation of resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Michelle R. Garfinkel, 2003. "On the Stability of Group Formation: Managing the Conflict Within," Public Economics 0312005, EconWPA, revised 04 Mar 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0312005
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on WinXP; pages: 38; figures: none
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Endogenous group formation; competitive appropriation; conflict management.;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis

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