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In-group favoritism and discrimination among multiple out-groups

Veronika Grimm, Verena Utikal and Lorenzo Valmasoni

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2017, vol. 143, issue C, 254-271

Abstract: In this study, we investigate how and why people discriminate among different groups, including their in-group and multiple out-groups. In a laboratory experiment, we use dictator games for five groups to compare actual transfers to in-group and out-group agents with the respective beliefs held by dictators and recipients in these groups. We observe both in-group favoritism and discrimination across multiple out-groups. Individuals expect others to be in-group biased, as well as to be treated differently by different out-groups. We find that dictators’ in-group favoritism is positively related to the degree of in-group favoritism they expect other dictators to exhibit. Moreover, we find that a dictator tends to be relatively more generous toward a specific out-group when he or she expects that dictators belonging to that out-group are generous toward members of his or her in-group. Thus, our study provides evidence for indirect reciprocation expectation.

Keywords: Discrimination; Experiment; Group identity; Dictator game; Beliefs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 C92 D84 D01 D64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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