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Preference conformism: An experiment

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  • Fatas, Enrique
  • Hargreaves Heap, Shaun P.
  • Rojo Arjona, David

Abstract

This paper reports on an experiment designed to test whether people's preferences change to become more alike. Such preference conformism would be worrying for an economics that takes individual preferences as given (‘de gustibus es non disputandum’). So the test is important. But it is also difficult. People can behave alike for many reasons and the key to the design of our test, therefore, is the control of the other possible reasons for observing apparent peer effects. We find evidence of preference conformism in the aggregate and at the individual level (where there is heterogeneity). It appears also to be more consistent with Festinger's epistemic account of why it might occur than that of Social Identity Theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Fatas, Enrique & Hargreaves Heap, Shaun P. & Rojo Arjona, David, 2018. "Preference conformism: An experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 71-82.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:105:y:2018:i:c:p:71-82
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2018.02.009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dimant, Eugen, 2019. "Contagion of pro- and anti-social behavior among peers and the role of social proximity," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 66-88.
    2. repec:kap:theord:v:85:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11238-017-9646-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo & Natalia Jiménez & Dunia López-Pintado, 2019. "Social Influence and Position Effects," Working Papers 19.03, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    4. Kate Ambler & Susan Godlonton & María P. Recalde, 2019. "Follow the leader? A field experiment on social influence," Department of Economics Working Papers 2019-24, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    5. repec:eee:eecrev:v:113:y:2019:i:c:p:156-172 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conformism; Endogenous preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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