Review of Behavioral Economics > Vol 2 > Issue 3

Solidarity, Responsibility and In-Group Bias

Friedel Bolle, European University Viadrina Frankfurt, Germany, Jano Costard, WZB Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany,
Suggested Citation
Friedel Bolle and Jano Costard (2015), "Solidarity, Responsibility and In-Group Bias", Review of Behavioral Economics: Vol. 2: No. 3, pp 307-330.

Published: 29 Oct 2015
© 2015 F. Bolle and J. Costard
Risky behaviorSolidarityResponsibilityIn-group favoritism

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In this article:
1. Introduction
2. Literature
3. The Experiment
4. Solidarity Theory
5. Results
6. Conclusion


In the Solidarity game lucky winners of a lottery can transfer part of their income to unlucky losers. Will losers get smaller transfers if they can be assumed to be responsible for their zero income because they have chosen riskier lotteries? Or will risk-lovers and risk-averters favor those who made the same risk-choice, leading to larger transfers within rather than between the risk-groups? While there is support for both motives in the literature, in an experiment we find that the effect of holding people responsible for their actions is overcome by behavior guided by in-group favoritism based on different levels of risk-taking. This behavior is successfully described by a variant of the social utility function suggested by Cappelen et al. (2013).