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We, the rich: Inequality, identity and cooperation

Andrea F.M. Martinangeli and Peter Martinsson

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2020, vol. 178, issue C, 249-266

Abstract: Inequality not only generates status differentials between rich and poor individuals, it also generates status differentials between groups of different composition and income level. We organise the social structure within which groups are embedded to manipulate their composition and relative status, thus inducing weaker or stronger group identities in their members via the processes of social categorization, identification and comparison. We therefore manipulate the fundamental components of group identity rather than resorting to ad hoc identity reinforcement tasks. How strongly individuals identify with each group will ultimately determine the degree of cooperativeness within the group and the whole society.

Keywords: Experiment; Inequality; Multiple groups; Public goods; Social identity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2020.07.013

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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