Cooperation and the in-group-out-group bias: A field test on Israeli kibbutz members and city residents

Bradley J. Ruffle, Richard Sosis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations

Abstract

The in-group-out-group bias is among the most widely documented and analyzed phenomenon in the social sciences. We conduct field experiments to test whether the bias extends to the cooperative behavior of one of the most successful modern collectives, the Israeli kibbutz. Despite their promise as universal cooperators, kibbutz members are more cooperative toward anonymous kibbutz members than they are toward anonymous city residents. In fact, when paired with city residents, kibbutz members' observed levels of cooperation are identical to those of city residents. Moreover, self-selection rather than kibbutz socialization largely accounts for the extent to which kibbutz members are cooperative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-163
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Volume60
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2006

Keywords

  • Cooperation
  • Field experiment
  • In-group-out-group bias
  • Kibbutz
  • Self-selection
  • Socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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