An Agent-Based Model of Ethnocentrism and the Unintended Consequences of Violence

  • William D. Tilson
  • Thomas K. DuncanEmail author
  • Daniel Farhat
Original Article


We repurpose an agent-based model of ethnocentrism to show how violence affects people’s willingness to cooperate with members of other groups. We account for extra benefits which arise from interacting with a member of the same culture (‘cultural boosts’) and for mutual gains from cooperative activities (‘public goods’). In environments where one person gains at another’s expense, violence decreases ethnocentrism. However, violence increases ethnocentric behavior when cooperation produces shared benefits. These results point to new empirical questions and contribute to policy discussions regarding the use and reduction of violence.


Violence Ethnocentrism Agent-based modeling 

JEL Classification

B55 D74 D90 



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Copyright information

© EEA 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • William D. Tilson
    • 1
  • Thomas K. Duncan
    • 2
    Email author
  • Daniel Farhat
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicRadford UniversityRadfordUSA

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