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The Importance of Peers for Compliance with Norms of Fair Sharing

Author

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  • Gächter, Simon

    () (University of Nottingham)

  • Gerhards, Leonie

    () (University of Hamburg)

  • Nosenzo, Daniele

    () (University of Nottingham)

Abstract

A burgeoning literature in economics has started examining the role of social norms in explaining economic behavior. Surprisingly, the vast majority of this literature has studied social norms in asocial decision settings, where individuals are observed to act in isolation from each other. In this paper we use a large-scale dictator game experiment (N = 850) to show that the presence of "peers" in the decision setting faced by an individual can have a profound influence on the individual's perception of the decision situation and its underlying norms of sharing, as elicited in an incentive compatible way. However, we find limited evidence that this influence of peers in normative considerations translates into a corresponding effect in actual behavior. Partly, this is due to substantial heterogeneity in the extent to which dictators in our sample are willing to comply with norms of fair sharing.

Suggested Citation

  • Gächter, Simon & Gerhards, Leonie & Nosenzo, Daniele, 2015. "The Importance of Peers for Compliance with Norms of Fair Sharing," IZA Discussion Papers 9615, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9615
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    Cited by:

    1. Serhiy Kandul & Bruno Lanz, 2018. "When social norms and self-image conflict: A public good experiment with social comparison feedback," IRENE Working Papers 18-06, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    2. repec:eee:ecolet:v:168:y:2018:i:c:p:147-150 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social norms; norm compliance; peer effects; fair sharing; dictator game; framing; experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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