Group Identification

Posted: 22 Oct 2007 Last revised: 25 Apr 2010

See all articles by Alan D. Miller

Alan D. Miller

Faculty of Law, Western University


I study a model of group identification in which individuals' opinions as to the membership of a group are aggregated to form a list of group members. Potential aggregation rules are studied through the axiomatic approach. I introduce two axioms, meet separability and join separability, each of which requires the list of members generated by the aggregation rule to be independent of whether the question of membership in a group is separated into questions of membership in two other groups. I use these axioms to characterize a class of one-vote rules, in which one opinion determines whether an individual is considered to be a member of a group. I then show that the only anonymous one-vote rule is self-identification, in which each individual determines for himself whether he is a member of the group.

Keywords: Group Identification, Self-Identification, Census, Voting, Axioms, Liberal Rule, Separability

JEL Classification: D70, D71, D72

Suggested Citation

Miller, Alan D., Group Identification. Games and Economic Behavior, Vol. 63, No. 1, pp. 188-202, May 2008, Available at SSRN:

Alan D. Miller (Contact Author)

Faculty of Law, Western University ( email )

1151 Richmond Street
London, Ontario N6A3K7


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics