Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/85019
Authors: 
Weisel, Ori
Zultan, Ro'i
Year of Publication: 
2013
Series/Report no.: 
Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-033
Abstract: 
We experimentally test the social motives behind individual participation in intergroup conflict by manipulating the framing and symmetry of conflict. We find that behavior in conflict depends on whether one is harmed by actions perpetrated by the out-group, but not on one's own influence on the outcome of the out-group. The way in which this harm is presented and perceived dramatically alters participation decisions. When people perceive their group to be under threat, they are mobilized to do what is good for the group and contribute to the conflict. On the other hand, if people perceive to be personally under threat, they are driven to do what is good for themselves and withhold their contribution. The first phenomenon is attributed to group identity, possibly combined with a concern for social welfare. The second phenomenon is attributed to a novel victim effect. Another social motive - reciprocity - is ruled out by the data.
Subjects: 
asymmetric conflict
framing
intergroup conflict
intergroup prisoner's dilemma
JEL: 
C72
C92
D03
D62
D74
H41
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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