Relative Deprivation and Intergroup Competition

Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, Vol. 13, pp. 685-700, 2010, DOI:10.1177/1368430210371639

35 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2014

See all articles by Nir Halevy

Nir Halevy

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Eileen Y. Chou

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management

Taya R. Cohen

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

Gary Bornstein

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Jerusalem School of Business Administration

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Two experiments utilized a new experimental paradigm – the IPD-MD game – to study how relative deprivation at the group level affects intergroup competition. The IPD-MD game enables group members to make a costly contribution to either a within-group pool that benefits fellow in-group members, or a between-group pool, which, in addition harms out-group members. We found that when group members were put in a disadvantaged position, either by previous actions of the out-group (Experiment 1) or by random misfortune (Experiment 2), they contributed substantially more to the competitive between-group pool. This destructive behavior both minimized inequality between the groups and reduced collective efficiency. Our results underscore the conditions that lead group members to care about relative (rather than absolute) group outcomes and highlight the need to differentiate between the motivation to get ahead and the motivation not to fall behind: the latter, it appears, is what motivates individual participation in destructive intergroup competition.

Keywords: Relative deprivation, collective action, intragroup cooperation, intergroup competition, experimental games

Suggested Citation

Halevy, Nir and Chou, Eileen Y. and Cohen, Taya R. and Bornstein, Gary, Relative Deprivation and Intergroup Competition (2010). Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, Vol. 13, pp. 685-700, 2010, DOI:10.1177/1368430210371639. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2458585

Nir Halevy

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Eileen Y. Chou

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Taya R. Cohen (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business ( email )

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
4122686677 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tepper.cmu.edu/our-faculty-and-research/about-our-faculty/faculty-profiles/tcohen/cohen-t

Gary Bornstein

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Jerusalem School of Business Administration ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 91905
Israel

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