The Effect of Conflict History on Cooperation within and between Groups: Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment

35 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2014

See all articles by Gonne Beekman

Gonne Beekman

Development Economics Group

Stephen L. Cheung

The University of Sydney; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Ian Levely

Wageningen University

Abstract

We study cooperation within and between groups in the laboratory, comparing treatments in which two groups have previously been (i) in conflict with one another, (ii) in conflict with a different group, or (iii) not previously exposed to conflict. We model conflict using an inter-group Tullock contest, and measure its effects upon cooperation using a multi-level public good game. We demonstrate that conflict increases cooperation within groups, while decreasing cooperation between groups. Moreover, we find that cooperation between groups increases in response to an increase in the efficiency gains from cooperation only when the two groups have not previously interacted.

Keywords: within- and between-group cooperation, inter-group conflict, group identity, multi-level public good experiment, Tullock contest, other-regarding preferences

JEL Classification: C92, D64, D74, H41

Suggested Citation

Beekman, Gonne and Cheung, Stephen L. and Levely, Ian, The Effect of Conflict History on Cooperation within and between Groups: Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8287, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2462719 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2462719

Gonne Beekman (Contact Author)

Development Economics Group ( email )

Hollandseweg 1
Wageningen, 6706KN
Netherlands
+31 317 484373 (Phone)

Stephen L. Cheung

The University of Sydney ( email )

School of Economics
Social Sciences Building A02
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
+61 2 9351 2135 (Phone)
+61 2 9351 4341 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sydney.edu.au/arts/economics/staff/profiles/stephen.cheung.php

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Ian Levely

Wageningen University ( email )

Hollandseweg 1
Wageningen, 6706KN
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.IanLevely.com

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