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The Impact of Social Ties on Group Interactions: Evidence from Minimal Groups and Randomly Assigned Real Groups
Lorenz Goette, David Huffman and Stephan Meier
American Economic Journal: Microeconomics
Vol. 4, No. 1 (February 2012), pp. 101-115
Published by: American Economic Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41330462
Page Count: 15
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Social interaction, Cooperation, Microeconomics, Group identity, Games, Empathy, Social groups, Social psychology, Standard error, Friendship
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Economists are increasingly interested in how group membership affects individual behavior. The standard method assigns individuals to "minimal" groups, i.e. arbitrary labels, in a lab. But real groups often involve social interactions leading to social ties between group members. Our experiments compare randomly assigned minimal groups to randomly assigned groups involving real social interactions.While adding social ties leads to qualitatively similar, although stronger, in-group favoritism in cooperation, altruistic norm enforcement patterns are qualitatively different between treatments. Our findings contribute to the micro-foundation of theories of group preferences, and caution against generalizations from "minimal" groups to groups with social context.
American Economic Journal: Microeconomics © 2012 American Economic Association