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Public Goods and Future Audiences: Acting as Role Models?

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  • Giuseppe Attanasi

    (Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, GREDEG, France)

  • Roberta Dessi

    (Toulouse School of Economics (TSE))

  • Frédéric Moisan

    (University of Cambridge)

  • Donald Robertson

    (University of Cambridge)

Abstract

Individuals' decisions to behave prosocially (or the contrary) can often be observed by other individuals, with no direct connection to them, but who may nevertheless be influenced by them (e.g. through social media). Does knowing that they may be viewed as role models by other, notably younger, people a ect the way individuals behave? Does it make them more likely to behave prosocially? We study how participants' behavior in an experimental public good game is affected when they know that information about their choices and outcomes, together with different sets of information about their identity, will be transmitted the following year to a set of new, unknown, younger participants - with no payoff linkages between the two sets of players. When subjects know their photo, choices and outcomes will be transmitted, they contribute significantly less. We consider different possible explanations, and argue that the most convincing is based on image concerns, but in a surprising way: subjects in the photo treatment care about not being perceived as "suckers" by future players.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe Attanasi & Roberta Dessi & Frédéric Moisan & Donald Robertson, 2019. "Public Goods and Future Audiences: Acting as Role Models?," GREDEG Working Papers 2019-27, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:gre:wpaper:2019-27
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Role models; image concerns; identity; audience; public goods;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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