IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/mar/magkse/201208.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Reaching for the Stars: An Experimental Study of the Consumption Value of Social Approval

Author

Listed:
  • Matthias Greiff

    () (University of Giessen)

  • Fabian Paetzel

    () (University of Bremen)

Abstract

We present a theoretical model of a linear public good game in which heterogeneous players express social approval after observing contributions. The model explains how social approval is expressed and predicts positive contributions if subjects have a preference for social approval. Using a controlled laboratory experiment we test our model. In the experiment, subjects conduct computerized tasks that require substantial effort resulting in endowments from which contributions can be made to a linear public good. After observing others’ contributions subjects express social approval. Our main hypothesis is that subjects have a preference for social approval so that the expression of social approval will increase contributions, even if reputation building is impossible. We vary the information available to subjects and investigate how this affects the expression of social approval and individual contributions. Our main finding is that the expression of social approval significantly increases contributions. However, the increase in contributions is smaller if additional information is provided, suggesting that social approval is more effective if subjects receive a noisy signal about others’ contributions.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Greiff & Fabian Paetzel, 2012. "Reaching for the Stars: An Experimental Study of the Consumption Value of Social Approval," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201208, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201208
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/makro/forschung/magkspapers/08-2012_greiff.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2012
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Todd L. Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason F. Shogren, 2002. "Hardnose the Dictator," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1218-1221, September.
    2. Michael Kosfeld & Susanne Neckermann, 2011. "Getting More Work for Nothing? Symbolic Awards and Worker Performance," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 86-99, August.
    3. Brekke, Kjell Arne & Kverndokk, Snorre & Nyborg, Karine, 2003. "An economic model of moral motivation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1967-1983, September.
    4. Keasey, Kevin & Moon, Philip, 1996. "Gambling with the house money in capital expenditure decisions: An experimental analysis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 105-110, January.
    5. Jeremy Clark, 2002. "House Money Effects in Public Good Experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 5(3), pages 223-231, December.
    6. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and Nonmonetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 366-380, March.
    7. Sheryl Ball & Catherine Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & William Zame, 2001. "Status in Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 161-188.
    8. Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 1999. "Collective action as a social exchange," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 341-369, July.
    9. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    10. Rutstrom, E. Elisabet & Williams, Melonie B., 2000. "Entitlements and fairness:: an experimental study of distributive preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 75-89, September.
    11. Ben Greiner, 2004. "The Online Recruitment System ORSEE 2.0 - A Guide for the Organization of Experiments in Economics," Working Paper Series in Economics 10, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
    12. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2007. "Paying Respect," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 135-150, Fall.
    13. Rege, Mari & Telle, Kjetil, 2004. "The impact of social approval and framing on cooperation in public good situations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1625-1644, July.
    14. Erte Xiao & Daniel Houser, 2005. "Emotion expression in human punishment behavior," Experimental 0504003, EconWPA, revised 18 May 2005.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Matthias Greiff & Fabian Paetzel, 2012. "The Importance of Knowing Your Own Reputation," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201236, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    2. Schmitt, Carina & Obinger, Herbert, 2012. "Policy diffusion and social rights in advanced democracies 1960-2000," Working papers of the ZeS 02/2012, University of Bremen, Centre for Social Policy Research (ZeS).
    3. Matthias Greiff, 2013. "Affective Social Ties without the Need to Belong?," Rationality, Markets and Morals, Frankfurt School Verlag, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, vol. 4(64), May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Experimental Economics; Linear Public Good Games; Non-monetary Incentives; Social Approval;

    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
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201208. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bernd Hayo). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vamarde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.