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Saving Face and Group Identity

Abstract : Are people willing to sacrifice resources to save one’s and others’ face? In a laboratory experiment, we study whether individuals forego resources to avoid the public exposure of the least performer in their group. We show that a majority of individuals are willing to pay to preserve not only their self- but also other group members’ image, even when group identity is minimal. When group identity is made more salient, individuals help regardless of whether the least performer is an in-group or an out-group. In contrast, people are less likely to sacrifice for individual strangers, showing a major role for group identity and reputation concerns within groups relative to an interpretation in terms of moral norms.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 11:29:24 AM
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Tor Eriksson, Lei Mao, Marie Claire Villeval. Saving Face and Group Identity. Experimental Economics, Springer Verlag (Germany), 2017, 20 (3), pp. 622-647. ⟨10.1007/s10683-016-9502-3⟩. ⟨halshs-01393311⟩



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