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On Peer Effects: Contagion of Pro- and Anti-Social Behavior and the Role of Social Cohesion

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  • Eugen Dimant

    () (University of Pennsylvania & Harvard University)

Abstract

Little is known about the underlying mechanisms of behavioral contagion, in particular with respect to differences in contagion of pro- versus anti-social behavior. Our principal contribution is the use of a novel experimental approach that enables us to analyze the contagion of behavior under varied levels of social distance to peers and differences in contagion of pro- and anti-social behavior. Anti-social behavior is found to be more contagious and social distance particularly drives the contagion of anti-social but not prosocial behavior. The results yield policy implications with regards to designing effective nudges and interventions to facilitate (reduce) pro- (anti-)social behavior, in both social and work environments.

Suggested Citation

  • Eugen Dimant, 2017. "On Peer Effects: Contagion of Pro- and Anti-Social Behavior and the Role of Social Cohesion," Discussion Papers 2017-06, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notcdx:2017-06
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Anti-Social Behavior; Behavioral Contagion; Charitable Giving; Peer Effects;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics

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