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Group Identities in Conflicts

Andreas Wagener and Martin Kolmar

VfS Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis from Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association

Abstract: We analyze the interplay of group identity and inter-group conflict in a contest where each of two conflicting groups can develop either a group or an individualistic identity. Contest structures impact on the adoption of identities which themselves influence behavior in the contest. We show the following: If group sizes and contest technologies are similar, group identities emerge. This then results in a reduced well-being for all individuals. If one group has a large advantage in the contest, only this group will create a group identity and benefit on the expense of the other. Outgroup hostility favors asymmetric identities. Several applications of the findings are discussed.

Keywords: Contests; Public Goods; Social Identity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D02 D74 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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