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Saving face and group identity

Tor Eriksson (), Lei Mao () and Marie Claire Villeval ()
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Lei Mao: Central University of Finance and Economics

Experimental Economics, 2017, vol. 20, issue 3, 622-647

Abstract: Abstract Are people willing to sacrifice resources to save one’s and others’ face? In a laboratory experiment, we study whether individuals forego resources to avoid the public exposure of the least performer in their group. We show that a majority of individuals are willing to pay to preserve not only their self- but also other group members’ image, even when group identity is minimal. When group identity is made more salient, individuals help regardless of whether the least performer is an in-group or an out-group. In contrast, people are less likely to sacrifice for individual strangers, showing a major role for group identity and reputation concerns within groups relative to an interpretation in terms of moral norms.

Keywords: Saving face; Social image; Pro-social behavior; Group identity; Experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C92 D03 M52 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Working Paper: Saving Face and Group Identity (2017)
Working Paper: Saving Face and Group Identity (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Saving Face and Group Identity (2015)
Working Paper: Saving Face and Group Identity (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Saving Face and Group Identity (2015) Downloads
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