IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jeborg/v192y2021icp73-91.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

One size does not fit all: Plurality of social norms and saving behavior in Kenya

Author

Listed:
  • Fromell, Hanna
  • Nosenzo, Daniele
  • Owens, Trudy
  • Tufano, Fabio

Abstract

Using the Krupka–Weber norm-elicitation technique in a lab-in-the-field experiment in rural Kenya, we measure the social norms that regulate the trade-off between wealth accumulation through saving and sharing income with kin and neighbors. We find a plurality of norms: from a strict sharing norm prohibiting any form of wealth accumulation to a norm that allows moderate wealth accumulation. We show that several individual and social network characteristics predict the norms perceived and that the pro-saving norm becomes majoritarian when an individual can conceal their income from kin and neighbors. In further exploratory analysis, we find some evidence that the type of norm individuals perceive mediates the effect of income secrecy on actual saving behavior. Taken together, our results highlight the importance of measuring social norms when devising pro-saving policy interventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Fromell, Hanna & Nosenzo, Daniele & Owens, Trudy & Tufano, Fabio, 2021. "One size does not fit all: Plurality of social norms and saving behavior in Kenya," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 192(C), pages 73-91.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:192:y:2021:i:c:p:73-91
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2021.09.028
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268121004133
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jebo.2021.09.028?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bulte, Erwin H. & Lensink, Robert & Winkel, Anne B., 2018. "The impact of a gender and business training on income hiding: An experimental study in Vietnam," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 241-259.
    2. Bicchieri, Cristina & Dimant, Eugen & Gächter, Simon & Nosenzo, Daniele, 2022. "Social proximity and the erosion of norm compliance," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 59-72.
    3. Kast, Felipe & Meier, Stephan & Pomeranz, Dina, 2018. "Saving more in groups: Field experimental evidence from Chile," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 275-294.
    4. Boltz, Marie & Marazyan, Karine & Villar, Paola, 2019. "Income hiding and informal redistribution: A lab-in-the-field experiment in Senegal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 78-92.
    5. Nava Ashraf, 2009. "Spousal Control and Intra-household Decision Making: An Experimental Study in the Philippines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1245-1277, September.
    6. Abigail Barr & Mattea Stein, 2008. "Status and egalitarianism in traditional communities: An analysis of funeral attendance in six Zimbabwean villages," CSAE Working Paper Series 2008-26, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    7. Gächter, Simon & Gerhards, Leonie & Nosenzo, Daniele, 2017. "The importance of peers for compliance with norms of fair sharing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 72-86.
    8. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    9. Alexander W. Cappelen & Astri Drange Hole & Erik Ø Sørensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2007. "The Pluralism of Fairness Ideals: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 818-827, June.
    10. Lasse Brune & Xavier Giné & Jessica Goldberg & Dean Yang, 2016. "Facilitating Savings for Agriculture: Field Experimental Evidence from Malawi," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64(2), pages 187-220.
    11. Chang, Daphne & Chen, Roy & Krupka, Erin, 2019. "Rhetoric matters: A social norms explanation for the anomaly of framing," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 158-178.
    12. Nikiforakis, Nikos & Oechssler, Jörg & Shah, Anwar, 2014. "Hierarchy, coercion, and exploitation: An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 155-168.
    13. Erin L. Krupka & Roberto A. Weber, 2013. "Identifying Social Norms Using Coordination Games: Why Does Dictator Game Sharing Vary?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 495-524, June.
    14. Cristina Bicchieri & Eugen Dimant & Simon Gaechter & Daniele Nosenzo, 2020. "Observability, Social Proximity, and the Erosion of Norm Compliance," CESifo Working Paper Series 8212, CESifo.
    15. Pamela Jakiela & Owen Ozier, 2016. "Does Africa Need a Rotten Kin Theorem? Experimental Evidence from Village Economies," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 83(1), pages 231-268.
    16. Grimm, Michael & Hartwig, Renate & Lay, Jann, 2017. "Does forced solidarity hamper investment in small and micro enterprises?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 827-846.
    17. Shawn Cole & Thomas Sampson & Bilal Zia, 2011. "Prices or Knowledge? What Drives Demand for Financial Services in Emerging Markets?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(6), pages 1933-1967, December.
    18. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
    19. Salvatore Di Falco & Erwin Bulte, 2015. "Does social capital affect investment in human capital? Family ties and schooling decisions," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 195-205, January.
    20. Dimant, Eugen & van Kleef, Gerben A. & Shalvi, Shaul, 2020. "Requiem for a Nudge: Framing effects in nudging honesty," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 247-266.
    21. Pascaline Dupas & Jonathan Robinson, 2013. "Why Don't the Poor Save More? Evidence from Health Savings Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1138-1171, June.
    22. Jean-Marie Baland & Catherine Guirkinger & Charlotte Mali, 2011. "Pretending to Be Poor: Borrowing to Escape Forced Solidarity in Cameroon," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(1), pages 1-16.
    23. Stephen V. Burks & Erin L. Krupka, 2012. "A Multimethod Approach to Identifying Norms and Normative Expectations Within a Corporate Hierarchy: Evidence from the Financial Services Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(1), pages 203-217, January.
    24. Reuben, Ernesto & Riedl, Arno, 2013. "Enforcement of contribution norms in public good games with heterogeneous populations," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 122-137.
    25. d'Adda, Giovanna & Dufwenberg, Martin & Passarelli, Francesco & Tabellini, Guido, 2020. "Social norms with private values: Theory and experiments," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 288-304.
    26. Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2006. "Solidarity Norms and Institutions in Village Societies: Static and Dynamic Considerations," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, in: S. Kolm & Jean Mercier Ythier (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Giving, Altruism and Reciprocity, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 819-886, Elsevier.
    27. Ernst Fehr & Ivo Schurtenberger, 2018. "Normative foundations of human cooperation," Nature Human Behaviour, Nature, vol. 2(7), pages 458-468, July.
    28. Simon Gächter & Daniele Nosenzo & Martin Sefton, 2013. "Peer Effects In Pro-Social Behavior: Social Norms Or Social Preferences?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 548-573, June.
    29. Ritwik Banerjee, 2016. "On the interpretation of bribery in a laboratory corruption game: moral frames and social norms," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(1), pages 240-267, March.
    30. Omar Al-Ubaydli & John A. List & Dana L. Suskind, 2017. "What Can We Learn from Experiments? Understanding the Threats to the Scalability of Experimental Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 282-286, May.
    31. Emily Breza & Arun G. Chandrasekhar, 2019. "Social Networks, Reputation, and Commitment: Evidence From a Savings Monitors Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 87(1), pages 175-216, January.
    32. Gonne Beekman & Marcel Gatto & Eleonora Nillesen, 2015. "Family Networks and Income Hiding: Evidence from Lab-in-the-Field Experiments in Rural Liberia," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies, vol. 24(3), pages 453-469.
    33. Goldberg, Jessica, 2017. "The effect of social pressure on expenditures in Malawi," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 173-185.
    34. Kã–Lle, Felix & Lane, Tom & Nosenzo, Daniele & Starmer, Chris, 2020. "Promoting voter registration: the effects of low-cost interventions on behaviour and norms," Behavioural Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 26-49, March.
    35. Salvatore di Falco & Erwin Bulte, 2011. "A Dark Side of Social Capital? Kinship, Consumption, and Savings," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(8), pages 1128-1151, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Francesca Barigozzi & Natalia Montinari, 2023. "From Personal Values to Social Norms," Working Papers wp1182, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Hanna Fromell & Daniele Nosenzo & Trudy Owens & Fabio Tufano, 2019. "One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Plurality of Social Norms and Saving Behavior in Kenya," Discussion Papers 2019-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    2. Francesco Fallucchi & Daniele Nosenzo, 2022. "The coordinating power of social norms," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 25(1), pages 1-25, February.
    3. Boltz, Marie & Marazyan, Karine & Villar, Paola, 2019. "Income hiding and informal redistribution: A lab-in-the-field experiment in Senegal," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 78-92.
    4. Traub, Stefan & Schwaninger, Manuel & Paetzel, Fabian & Neuhofer, Sabine, 2023. "Evidence on need-sensitive giving behavior: An experimental approach to the acknowledgment of needs," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 105(C).
    5. Bicchieri, Cristina & Dimant, Eugen & Gächter, Simon & Nosenzo, Daniele, 2022. "Social proximity and the erosion of norm compliance," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 59-72.
    6. Steinert, Janina Isabel & Vasumati Satish, Rucha & Stips, Felix & Vollmer, Sebastian, 2022. "Commitment or concealment? Impacts and use of a portable saving device: Evidence from a field experiment in urban India," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 193(C), pages 367-398.
    7. Despoina Alempaki & Genyue Fu & Jingcheng Fu, 2021. "Lying and social norms: a lab-in-the-field experiment with children," Discussion Papers 2021-01, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    8. Eliana Carranza & Aletheia Donald & Florian Grosset & Supreet Kaur, 2022. "The Social Tax: Redistributive Pressure and Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 30438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Di Falco, Salvatore & Feri, Francesco & Pin, Paolo & Vollenweider, Xavier, 2018. "Ties that bind: Network redistributive pressure and economic decisions in village economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 123-131.
    10. Cristina Bicchieri & Eugen Dimant & Simon Gächter & Daniele Nosenzo, 2020. "Observability, Social Proximity, and the Erosion of Norm Compliance," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 009, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.
    11. Behnk, Sascha & Hao, Li & Reuben, Ernesto, 2022. "Shifting normative beliefs: On why groups behave more antisocially than individuals," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 145(C).
    12. Deschênes, Sarah & Dumas, Christelle & Lambert, Sylvie, 2020. "Household resources and individual strategies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 135(C).
    13. Emma Riley, 2024. "Resisting Social Pressure in the Household Using Mobile Money: Experimental Evidence on Microenterprise Investment in Uganda," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 114(5), pages 1415-1447, May.
    14. Marie Boltz & Karine Marazyan & Paola Villar, 2020. "Is Informal Redistribution Costly? Evidence from a Lab-in-the-Field Experiment in Senegal," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank, vol. 34(Supplemen), pages 72-78.
    15. Pierre Bachas & Paul Gertler & Sean Higgins & Enrique Seira, 2021. "How Debit Cards Enable the Poor to Save More," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 76(4), pages 1913-1957, August.
    16. Lane, Tom & Miller, Luis & Rodriguez, Isabel, 2024. "The normative permissiveness of political partyism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 162(C).
    17. D'Adda, Giovanna & Drouvelis, Michalis & Nosenzo, Daniele, 2016. "Norm elicitation in within-subject designs: Testing for order effects," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1-7.
    18. Alempaki, Despoina & Doğan, Gönül & Yang, Yang, 2021. "Lying in a foreign language?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 185(C), pages 946-961.
    19. Bulte, Erwin H. & Lensink, Robert & Winkel, Anne B., 2018. "The impact of a gender and business training on income hiding: An experimental study in Vietnam," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 241-259.
    20. Barr, Abigail & Lane, Tom & Nosenzo, Daniele, 2018. "On the social inappropriateness of discrimination," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 153-164.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:192:y:2021:i:c:p:73-91. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.