Competition and the role of group identity

Francesca Cornaglia, Michalis Drouvelis, Paolo Masella

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The emergence of competition is a defining aspect of human nature and characterizes many important social environments. However, its relationship with how social groups are formed has received little attention. We design an experiment to analyze how individuals’ willingness to compete is affected by group identity. We find that individuals display substantially stronger competitiveness in within group (ingroup) matchings than in between group (outgroup) matchings or in a control setting where no group identity is induced. We also find that the effect of group identity is stronger for subjects who participated more actively in the team-building task.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-145
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior & Organization
Early online date29 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • competition
  • social distance
  • group identity
  • laboratory experiment


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