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Self-control, commitment and peer pressure: a laboratory experiment

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  • Aurélie Bonein

    ()

  • Laurent Denant-Boèmont

    ()

Abstract

This paper focuses on the relationship between individual self-control and peer pressure. To this end, we performed a laboratory experiment that proceeded in two parts. The first part involved an individual real-effort task in which subjects could commit themselves to a particular level of performance while being tempted by an alternative recreational activity. The second part consisted of bargaining in a power-to-take game in which previously earned revenues were at stake. The experimental treatments involved variations in the available information provided to peers about previous individual behavior. The results show that many subjects make a serious commitment. Further, the subsequent revelation of commitment level induces subjects to increase the credible components of their commitment decisions. Past individual behaviors also play a role in bargaining because (i) partners who have committed themselves benefit from lower rates of both take and destruction and (ii) partners who have succumbed to temptation suffer from higher rates of both take and destruction. Copyright Economic Science Association 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Aurélie Bonein & Laurent Denant-Boèmont, 2015. "Self-control, commitment and peer pressure: a laboratory experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(4), pages 543-568, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:18:y:2015:i:4:p:543-568
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-014-9419-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gerhards, Leonie & Gravert, Christina, 2016. "Because of you I did not give up - How peers affect perseverance," Working Papers in Economics 659, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. repec:eee:gamebe:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:329-344 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bernard, Kévin & Bonein, Aurélie & Bougherara, Douadia, 2016. "Community Supported Agriculture and Preferences for Risk and Fairness," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 234904, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Koch, Alexander K. & Nafziger, Julia, 2016. "Gift exchange, control, and cyberloafing: A real-effort experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 409-426.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self-control; Temptation; Commitment; Willpower; Laboratory experiment; Peer pressure; C91; C92; D63;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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