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Identity and group conflict

Subhasish Chowdhury, Joo Young Jeon and Abhijit Ramalingam ()

No 15-09, Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) from School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.

Abstract: We experimentally investigate the effects of real and minimal identities on group conflict. In turn we provide a direct test of the hypotheses coined by Amartya Sen that the salience of a real identity escalates conflict but that of a mere classification would not do so. In a baseline treatment two groups – one of East Asians, and the other of Caucasians – engage in a group contest, but the information on racial composition is not revealed. In the minimal identity treatment each group is arbitrarily given a different color code, whereas in the real identity treatment the race information is revealed. Supporting Sen’s hypotheses, we find that compared to the baseline, free-riding declines and conflict effort increases in the real identity treatment but not in the minimal identity treatment. Moreover, this occurs due to an increase in efforts in the real identity treatment by females in both racial groups, but not by a particular racial group.

Keywords: conflict; identity; race; gender (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 C92 D03 D74 J15 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-05-25
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp and nep-soc
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

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Journal Article: Identity and group conflict (2016) Downloads
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