American Economic Review: Vol. 99 No. 5 (December 2009)


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Individual Behavior and Group Membership: Comment

Article Citation

Sutter, Matthias. 2009. "Individual Behavior and Group Membership: Comment." American Economic Review, 99(5): 2247-57.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.5.2247


Charness et al. (2007b) have shown that group membership has a strong effect on individual decisions in strategic games when group membership is salient through payoff commonality. In this comment, I show that their findings also apply to nonstrategic decisions, even when no outgroup exists, and I relate the effects of group membership on individual decisions to joint decision making in teams. I find in an investment experiment that individual decisions with salient group membership are largely the same as team decisions. This finding bridges the literature on team decision making and on group membership effects. (JEL D71, D82, Z13)

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Sutter, Matthias (U Innsbruck and U Gothenburg)

JEL Classifications

D71: Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
D82: Asymmetric and Private Information
Z13: Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification

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