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Event begins at 2PM GMT (3PM CET).

Part of a workshop series on 'Economic Paradigm Change', collaboratively hosted by The Global Solutions Initiative, THE NEW INSTITUTE, Prosocial World and INET Oxford.

In this session, Yan Chen, University of Michigan, will present her work on 'Group Identity and Opinion Formation: With Applications to Political Polarization'.

Identifying the determinants of political polarization is a pressing issue across the social sciences. Using an online experiment with nationally-representative participants, deployed the week prior to the 2020 US presidential election, we explore how partisan group identity impacts the process of political opinion formation. Assessing group identity through ingroup favoritism in monetary allocations, we incentivize subjects to predict policy-sensitive statistics one year post-election, conditional on which candidate becomes president. Our results show that people who exhibit ingroup favoritism show a stronger partisan gap in initial predictions, spend more resources to avoid articles from politically-opposing sources, and increase their partisan gap more strongly after reading relevant news articles. Exogenously reducing the salience of group identity decreases partisan bias in information avoidance, especially for ingroup-favoring individuals.


Research Themes