Strategic vs. in-group motives of bystander to intervene in repeated non-emergency situations



Year of publication 2020
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Economics and Administration

Description We use a laboratory experiment to study the role of strategic and in-group motives in bystander’s decision making. We devise a simple repeated game played in groups of three subjects with one proposer and two followers. Then the proposer chooses the discrete portion of initial endowment that she wants to take from a follower of her choice. In the next step, another follower, i.e., bystander, decides whether she wants to intervene for all possible amounts that the proposer could take. At the end of the round, computer pairs the decision of bystander with the proposer’s decision. If the bystander intervenes, she pays a small cost, but reallocation does not take place, and all players end up with an initial endowment. If she does not intervene, reallocation takes place. This game is played repeatedly in a partner matching and with the same proposer. We study two factors that could have impact on bystander’s decision – probability that she can become victim and membership to social group. We find that a higher chance of being chosen as the victim next time significantly increases the probability that bystanders will intervene. This result is robust even in environment of different social identities among triplets. However, the victim being outgroup decreases intervention just when bystander knows that he cannot become a victim.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.