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Social and Moral Norms in the Laboratory

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  • Charness, Gary
  • Schram, Arthur

Abstract

Social norms involve observation by others and external sanctions for violations,while moral norms involve introspection and internal sanctions. We develop a simple model ofindividual preferences that incorporates moral and social norms. We then examine dictatorchoices, where we create a shared understanding by providing advice from peers with nofinancial payoff at stake. We vary whether advice is given, as well as whether choices are madepublic. This design allows us to explicitly separate the effects of moral and social norms. Wefind that choices are in fact affected by a combination of observability and the sharedunderstanding.

Suggested Citation

  • Charness, Gary & Schram, Arthur, 2012. "Social and Moral Norms in the Laboratory," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt6rv7x0tf, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt6rv7x0tf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Jingnan & Houser, Daniel & Montinari, Natalia & Piovesan, Marco, 2016. "Beware of popular kids bearing gifts: A framed field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PA), pages 104-120.

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    Keywords

    Social and Behavioral Sciences; experiment; social norms; moral norms; individual preferences; dictator choices;

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