Social Categories and Group Preference Disputes: The Aversion to Winner-Take-All Solutions

GROUP PROCESSES AND INTERGROUP RELATIONS, Sage Publications, Forthcoming

33 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2007

See all articles by Stephen M. Garcia

Stephen M. Garcia

University of Michigan

Dale T. Miller

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Abstract

Six studies explored the hypothesis that third parties are averse to resolving preference disputes with winner-take-all solutions when disputing factions belong to different social categories (e.g., gender, nationality, firms, etc.). Studies 1-3 provided empirical support for the claim that third parties' aversion to winner-take-all solutions, even when they are based on the unbiased toss of a coin, is greater when the disputed preferences correlate with social category membership. Studies 4-6 suggested that reluctance to resolve inter-category disputes in a winner-take-all manner is motivated by a desire to minimize the affective disparity - the hedonic gap - between the winning and losing sides. The implication is that winner-take-all outcomes, even those that satisfy conditions of procedural fairness, become unacceptable when disputed preferences cleave along social category lines.

Keywords: Social categories, decision making, group disputes, behavioral economics, competition, social comparison, distributive justice

JEL Classification: C78, C71, C72, D74, M10, L20, L14, K33, J71

Suggested Citation

Garcia, Stephen M. and Miller, Dale T., Social Categories and Group Preference Disputes: The Aversion to Winner-Take-All Solutions. GROUP PROCESSES AND INTERGROUP RELATIONS, Sage Publications, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=997941

Stephen M. Garcia (Contact Author)

University of Michigan ( email )

741 Dennison Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States
734-615-2561 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sitemaker.umich.edu/stephen.garcia

Dale T. Miller

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

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