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Contagion of Pro- and Anti-Social Behavior Among Peers and the Role of Social Proximity

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  • Eugen Dimant

    (University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

This paper uses a novel experimental design to study the contagion of pro- and antisocial behavior and the role of social proximity among peers. Across systematic variations thereof, we find that anti-social behavior is generally more contagious than pro-social behavior. Surprisingly, we also find that social proximity amplifies the contagion of anti-social behavior more strongly than the contagion of pro-social behavior, and that anti-social individuals are most susceptible to behavioral contagion of other anti-social peers. These findings paired with the methodological contribution are informative for the design of effective norm-based policy interventions directed at facilitating (reducing) pro- (anti-)social behavior in social and economic environments.

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  • Eugen Dimant, 2018. "Contagion of Pro- and Anti-Social Behavior Among Peers and the Role of Social Proximity," Discussion Papers 2018-04, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notcdx:2018-04
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Behavioral Contagion; Peer Effects; Anti-Social & Pro-Social Behavior;
    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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