Contests & Conflict | 10/20/2023 | 07:00 AM
Do groups fight more? Experimental evidence on conflict initiation

Date & Time: Los Angeles (October 19, 10 pm), Cincinnati (1 am), Bath (6 am), Munich (7 am), Beijing (1 pm), Singapore (1 pm), Sydney (4 pm)

Changxia Ke will present the paper titled "Do groups fight more? Experimental evidence on conflict initiation" (joint work with Florian Morath and Sophia Seelos).

This talk is part of the Global Seminar on Contests & Conflict, an online seminar series with researchers from across the world. You can sign up to the Global Network to get information and invitations (including the Zoom Link for each event) about the Global Seminar hereMax-Planck-Institut für Steuerrecht und Öffentliche Finanzen: Global Seminar on Contests & Conflict (


Abstract of the Paper:
This paper investigates whether distributional conflicts become more likely when groups are involved in the fight. We present results from a laboratory experiment in which two parties can appropriate resources via a contest or, alternatively, take an outside option. Keeping monetary gains expected from fighting constant across all treatments, the experiment compares conflict choices of players in two-against-two, one-against-one, and two-against-one settings. Overall, we find evidence for a higher propensity to opt for conflict when entering the fight in a group than when having to fight as a single player. The effects are strongest in endogenously maintained groups and in the presence of group size advantages (i.e., in two-against-one). The results can be explained by a stronger non-monetary utility from fighting in (endogenous) groups and coincide with a biased perception of the fighting strength in asymmetric conflict.

Chair: Tracy Liu, Co-Chair: Qiang Fu and Lionel Page

Contact Person

Event Team

Max-Planck-Institut für Steuerrecht und Öffentliche Finanzen

Marstallplatz 1
80539 München

Phone: +49-89-24246-5255
Fax: +49-89-24246-5299