IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/soceco/v41y2012i4p476-483.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Norms, moods, and free lunch: Longitudinal evidence on payments from a Pay-What-You-Want restaurant

Author

Listed:
  • Riener, Gerhard
  • Traxler, Christian

Abstract

We study the distribution and evolution of payments in a Pay-What-You-Want restaurant. Despite missing price tags and despite the option to pay nothing at all, we observe that the vast majority of guests makes strictly positive payments. Over the two years covered by our data, average payments decline slightly, converging at a positive level. At the same time, the number of daily guests increases steadily, resulting in a considerable increase in total revenues. We discuss one possible interpretation of the long-term trend in payments in terms of social norms. We further show that short-term fluctuations in average payments are partly explained by exogenous weather changes. We provide evidence that – in line with work in psychology – weather-induced changes in mood affect payments.

Suggested Citation

  • Riener, Gerhard & Traxler, Christian, 2012. "Norms, moods, and free lunch: Longitudinal evidence on payments from a Pay-What-You-Want restaurant," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 476-483.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:41:y:2012:i:4:p:476-483
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2011.07.003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053535711000862
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    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. Kirchsteiger, Georg & Rigotti, Luca & Rustichini, Aldo, 2006. "Your morals might be your moods," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 155-172, February.
    2. Balestrino, Alessandro & Ciardi, Cinzia, 2008. "Social norms, cognitive dissonance and the timing of marriage," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2399-2410, December.
    3. David Hirshleifer & Tyler Shumway, 2003. "Good Day Sunshine: Stock Returns and the Weather," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 1009-1032, June.
    4. Mengel, Friederike, 2008. "Matching structure and the cultural transmission of social norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 608-623, September.
    5. Regner, Tobias & Barria, Javier A., 2009. "Do consumers pay voluntarily? The case of online music," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 395-406, August.
    6. Gerald J. Pruckner & Rupert Sausgruber, 2008. "Honesty on the Streets - A Natural Field Experiment on Newspaper Purchasing," Working Papers 2009-24, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    7. Saunders, Edward M, Jr, 1993. "Stock Prices and Wall Street Weather," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1337-1345, December.
    8. George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-775.
    9. Traxler, Christian, 2010. "Social norms and conditional cooperative taxpayers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 89-103, March.
    10. Steven D. Levitt, 2006. "White-Collar Crime Writ Small: A Case Study of Bagels, Donuts, and the Honor System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 290-294, May.
    11. Azar, Ofer H., 2004. "What sustains social norms and how they evolve?: The case of tipping," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 49-64, May.
    12. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
    13. Azar, Ofer H., 2007. "Why pay extra? Tipping and the importance of social norms and feelings in economic theory," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 250-265, April.
    14. López-Pérez, Raúl, 2009. "Followers and leaders: Reciprocity, social norms and group behavior," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 557-567, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pay-What-You-Want; Moods; Weather; Social norms;

    JEL classification:

    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • D49 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Other

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    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:soceco:v:41:y:2012:i:4:p:476-483. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175 .

    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 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.