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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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    4. Gary Bolton & Eugen Dimant & Ulrich Schmidt, 2018. "When a Nudge Backfires. Using Observation with Social and Economic Incentives to Promote Pro-Social Behavior," PPE Working Papers 0017, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    5. Cristina Bicchieri & Eugen Dimant, 2019. "Nudging with Care: The Risks and Benefits of Social Information," Discussion Papers 2019-02, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    6. Dimant, Eugen, 2015. "On Peer Effects: Behavioral Contagion of (Un)Ethical Behavior and the Role of Social Identity," MPRA Paper 68732, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Banerjee, Ritwik & Gupta, Nabanita Datta & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2018. "The spillover effects of affirmative action on competitiveness and unethical behavior," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 567-604.
    8. repec:pdn:wpaper:79 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Götte, Lorenz & Tripodi, Egon, 2018. "Social Influence in Prosocial Behavior:Evidence from a Large-Scale Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 13078, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Anti-Social Behavior; Behavioral Contagion; Charitable Giving; Peer Effects;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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