Endogenous Social Identity and Group Choice

Posted: 5 Feb 2016

See all articles by Florian Hett

Florian Hett

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Management and Applied Microeconomics

Markus Kröll

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Management and Applied Microeconomics

Mario Mechtel

Leuphana University of Lueneburg

Date Written: February 4, 2016

Abstract

This paper tests social identity theory with respect to individuals' self-identification behavior. We report results from a laboratory experiment in which subjects choose their group membership, which is interpreted as decision to identify with the respective group. Inducing a trade-off between monetary payoffs and different group identification choices we elicit the respective implicit valuations of identifying with different groups. The variation of these valuations is in line with the predictions from social identity theory: Subjects have a higher valuation for identifying with groups with a higher status and with groups to which they have a smaller social distance. Finally, we show that this behavior predicts individual out-group discrimination in allocation decisions, which has previously been shown to be associated with social identity. Overall our results provide strong support for the notion that individuals optimize behavior with respect to social identity.

Keywords: Social identity, experimental economics, endogenous group identification

Suggested Citation

Hett, Florian and Kröll, Markus and Mechtel, Mario, Endogenous Social Identity and Group Choice (February 4, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2727679

Florian Hett

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Management and Applied Microeconomics ( email )

Germany

Markus Kröll

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Management and Applied Microeconomics ( email )

Germany
+496979834827 (Phone)

Mario Mechtel (Contact Author)

Leuphana University of Lueneburg ( email )

Scharnhorststraße 1
Wilschenbrucher Weg 69
Lüneburg, 21335
Germany
+4941316772636 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.mario-mechtel.de

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