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Opportunistic conformism

Author

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  • Charness, Gary
  • Naef, Michael
  • Sontuoso, Alessandro

Abstract

We study strategic interactions that may be affected by belief-dependent, conformist preferences. Specifically, we propose that beliefs about the behavior of individuals in the same role (i.e., beliefs about “peer behavior”) directly affect a player's utility. In examining conformism we propose an experimental design that verifies the presence of the relevant causality direction. Our data reveal “opportunistically conformist” behavior, as subjects are more likely to follow the purported majority if doing so implies an increase in expected material payoff. We provide a general framework that accounts for such a pattern.

Suggested Citation

  • Charness, Gary & Naef, Michael & Sontuoso, Alessandro, 2019. "Opportunistic conformism," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 100-134.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:180:y:2019:i:c:p:100-134
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2018.12.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dimant, Eugen, 2015. "On Peer Effects: Behavioral Contagion of (Un)Ethical Behavior and the Role of Social Identity," MPRA Paper 68732, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Claudia Cerrone & Francesco Feri & Philip R. Neary, 2019. "Ignorance is bliss: a game of regret," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2019_10, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    3. repec:eee:joepsy:v:73:y:2019:i:c:p:66-88 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conformist preferences; Psychological games; Peers; Trust;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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