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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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File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/48694/1/VfS_2011_pid_709.pdf
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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.socialpolitik.org/
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  1. Catherine Eckel, 2005. "Subsidizing Charitable Contributions: A Field Test Comparing Matching and Rebate Subsidies," Working Papers 2098, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  3. 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.
  4. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," General Economics and Teaching 0303002, EconWPA.
  5. John Smith, 2007. "Reputation, Social Identity and Social Conflict," Departmental Working Papers 200709, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. Götte, Lorenz & Huffman, David B. & Meier, Stephan, 2006. "The Impact of Group Membership on Cooperation and Norm Enforcement: Evidence using Random Assignment to Real Social Groups," IZA Discussion Papers 2020, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Skaperdas, Stergios, 2007. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier.
  9. Dixit, Avinash K, 1987. "Strategic Behavior in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 891-98, December.
  10. Samuel Bowles & Astrid Hopfensitz, 2000. "The Co-evolution of Individual Behaviors and Social Institutions," Working Papers 00-12-073, Santa Fe Institute.
  11. Luis Corchón, 2007. "The theory of contests: a survey," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 69-100, September.
  12. Güth, Werner & Levati, M. Vittoria & Ploner, Matteo, 2008. "Social identity and trust--An experimental investigation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1293-1308, August.
  13. 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.
  14. Konrad, Kai A., 2009. "Strategy and Dynamics in Contests," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199549603, March.
  15. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1991. "Collective Rent Dissipation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1522-34, November.
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