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Group Identities in Conflicts

  • Wagener, Andreas
  • Kolmar, Martin

We analyze the interplay of group identity and inter-group conflict in a contest where each of two conflicting groups can develop either a group or an individualistic identity. Contest structures impact on the adoption of identities which themselves influence behavior in the contest. We show the following: If group sizes and contest technologies are similar, group identities emerge. This then results in a reduced well-being for all individuals. If one group has a large advantage in the contest, only this group will create a group identity and benefit on the expense of the other. Outgroup hostility favors asymmetric identities. Several applications of the findings are discussed.

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis with number 48694.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc11:48694
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  1. 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.
  2. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603, December.
  3. Catherine Eckel, 2005. "Subsidizing Charitable Contributions: A Field Test Comparing Matching and Rebate Subsidies," Working Papers 2098, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. Smith, John, 2009. "Reputation, social identity and social conflict," MPRA Paper 18082, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Lindqvist, Erik & Östling, Robert, 2006. "Identity and Redistribution," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 659, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 12 Jun 2007.
  6. Lorenz Goette & David Huffman & Stephan Meier, 2006. "The impact of group membership on cooperation and norm enforcement: evidence using random assignment to real social groups," Working Papers 06-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  7. Luis Corchón, 2007. "The theory of contests: a survey," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 11(2), pages 69-100, September.
  8. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Skaperdas, Stergios, 2007. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier.
  9. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
  10. Dixit, Avinash K, 1987. "Strategic Behavior in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 891-98, December.
  11. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," General Economics and Teaching 0303002, EconWPA.
  12. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
  13. Werner Güth & M. Vittoria Levati & Matteo Ploner, 2007. "Social identity and trust - An experimental investigation," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-41, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  14. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1991. "Collective Rent Dissipation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1522-34, November.
  15. Samuel Bowles & Astrid Hopfensitz, 2000. "The Co-evolution of Individual Behaviors and Social Institutions," Working Papers 00-12-073, Santa Fe Institute.
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