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Cognitive ability and in-group bias: An experimental study

Fabian Paetzel and Rupert Sausgruber

Journal of Public Economics, 2018, vol. 167, issue C, 280-292

Abstract: We study the role of performance differences in a task requiring cognitive effort on in-group bias. We show that the in-group bias is strong in groups consisting of high-performing members, and it is weak in low-performing groups. This holds although high-performing subjects exhibit no in-group bias as members of minimal groups, whereas low-performing subjects strongly do. We also observe instances of low-performing subjects punishing the in-group favoritism of low-performing peers. The same does not occur in high-performing or minimal groups where subjects generally accept that decisions are in-group biased.

Keywords: Cognitive ability; Group identity; Entitlements; Social preferences; Minimal groups; Punishment; Social norms; Social status (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C92 D31 D63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Working Paper: Cognitive Ability and In-group Bias: An Experimental Study (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Cognitive Ability and In-group Bias: An Experimental Study (2018) Downloads
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