Discrimination, social identity, and coordination

Vessela Daskalova


This paper presents an experiment investigating whether decision makers discriminate between members of their own group and members of another group. I focus on two aspects of this question: First, I compare behavior in individual and in joint decisions; Second, I test whether the identity of the co-decision maker matters in joint decisions. Substantial own group favoritism occurs in joint decisions in spite of there being no such favoritism in individual decisions. Decision makers strongly favor own group candidates when deciding with someone from their own group, but not when deciding with someone from the other group. The study suggests that higher-order beliefs about co-decision maker behavior may be a factor behind discrimination in collective settings and that diversity in committees might be helpful in counteracting own group favoritism.


Social identity; Discrimination; Favoritism; Coordination; Collective decisions; Experimental evidence;


Vessela Daskalova, Discrimination, Social Identity, and Coordination: An Experiment, Cambridge-INET Working Paper Series, n. 2015/12, December 2015.

Published in

Games and Economic Behavior, vol. 107, January 2018, pp. 238–252