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Le goût des autres


  • Fabrice Le Lec
  • Marianne Lumeau
  • Benoît Tarroux


This paper studies why individuals adopt conformist consumption behavior. More precisely, we pay attention to intrinsic preference for conformity: individuals preferences tend to converge on the others’ ones, even if there is no uncertainty about the quality of goods and individual choices can not be observed. For this purpose, we run an experiment, in which subjects report the satisfaction provided by two goods tested in the laboratory and then a monetary valuation. In a first treatment, subjects are “isolated,” while, in a second one, an information about choice made by other subjects are provided before they give monetary valuations to both goods. Our results show that subjects are sensitive to the choice made by others in an asymmetric way. When subjects report a greater satisfaction for the good that is also chosen by others, this information does not affect the monetary valuations of goods. On the contrary, subjects differing from others in taste tend to reduce the gap between the valuation of the preferred good and the one of the other. Classification JEL : C91, D12, D80.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabrice Le Lec & Marianne Lumeau & Benoît Tarroux, 2017. "Le goût des autres," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 68(5), pages 773-784.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:recosp:reco_pr3_0099

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    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General


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