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Self-Control, Commitment and Peer Pressure: A Laboratory Experiment

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  • Aurélie Bonein

    (CREM UMR CNRS 6211, University of Rennes 1, France)

  • Laurent Denant-Boèmont

    (CREM UMR CNRS 6211, University of Rennes 1, France)

Abstract

This paper focuses on the relationship between individual self-control and peer pressure. To this end, we implement a laboratory experiment that proceeds in two parts. The first part involves an individual real-effort task in which subjects may commit themselves to achieve a certain level of performance while being tempted by an alternative recreational activity. The second part consists of bargaining in a power-to-take game in which previously earned revenues are at stake. Experimental treatments represent variations in the available information given to peers regarding previous individual behavior. The results show that many subjects commit them-selves strongly and that future revelation of commitment decisions induces subjects to increase the credible components of commitment decisions. Past individual be-haviors also play a role in bargaining behavior: (i) partners who have committed themselves benefit from both lower take and destruction rates, and (ii) partners who have succumbed to temptation suffer from both higher take and destruction rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS in its series Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) with number 201328.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:tut:cremwp:201328

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Postal: CREM (UMR CNRS 6211) - Faculty of Economics, 7 place Hoche, 35065 Rennes Cedex - France
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Related research

Keywords: Self-control; temptation; commitment; willpower; laboratory experiment; peer pressure;

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  1. Thaler, Richard H & Shefrin, H M, 1981. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 392-406, April.
  2. Ozdenoren, Emre & Salant, Stephen & Silverman, Dan, 2010. "Willpower and the Optimal Control of Visceral Urges," Discussion Papers dp-10-35, Resources For the Future.
  3. Matthew Rabin & Ted O'Donoghue, 1999. "Doing It Now or Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 103-124, March.
  4. Reuben, Ernesto & van Winden, Frans, 2010. "Fairness perceptions and prosocial emotions in the power to take," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 908-922, December.
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