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The Coordinating Power of Social Norms

Author

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  • Francesco Fallucchi

    (Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER), Luxembourg)

  • Daniele Nosenzo

    (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University)

Abstract

A popular empirical technique to measure norms uses coordination games to elicit what subjects in an experiment consider appropriate behavior in a given situation (Krupka and Weber, 2013). The Krupka-Weber method works under the assumption that subjects use their normative expectations to solve the coordination game. However, subjects might use alternative focal points to coordinate, in which case the method may deliver distorted measurements of the social norm. We test the vulnerability of the Krupka-Weber method to the presence of alternative salient focal points. We find that the method is robust as long as there are clear normative expectations about what constitutes appropriate behavior. In settings where there is a less clear consensus about the social norm, the method is more vulnerable.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Fallucchi & Daniele Nosenzo, 2020. "The Coordinating Power of Social Norms," Economics Working Papers 2020-06, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  • Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2020-06
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Christian König-Kersting, 2021. "On the Robustness of Social Norm Elicitation," Working Papers 2021-02, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social norms; Krupka-Weber method; Coordination; Focal point; Saliency; Dictator game;
    All these keywords.

    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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