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Social Identity and Preferences

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  • Daniel Benjamin
  • James Choi
  • A. Strickland

Abstract

We provide evidence that time and risk preference norms tied to social identities help shape observed U.S. demographic patterns in economic outcomes. We identify the marginal effect of norms by measuring how laboratory subjects' choices change when an aspect of social identity is made salient. We find that when ethnic identity is salient to Asian-American subjects, they make more patient choices. When we make race salient to black subjects, non-immigrant blacks (but not immigrant blacks) make more risk-averse choices. Making gender identity salient causes choices to conform to gender norms the subject believes are relatively more common.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Benjamin & James Choi & A. Strickland, 2008. "Social Identity and Preferences," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2634, Yale School of Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:amz2634
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    race; ethnicity; gender; identity; norm; stereotype; risk aversion; time preference;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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