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Who Cares About Social Image?

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  • Engelmann, Dirk

    (Humboldt University Berlin)

  • Friedrichsen, Jana

    (Humboldt University Berlin and DIW)

Abstract

This paper experimentally investigates how concerns for social approval relate to intrinsic motivations to purchase ethically. Participants state their willingness-to-pay for both a fair trade and a conventional chocolate bar in private or publicly. A standard model of social image predicts that all participants increase their fair trade premium when facing an audience. We find that the premium is indeed higher in public than in private. This effect, however, is driven by participants who preferred a conventional chocolate bar over a fair trade one in a pre-lab choice. For those who chose the fair trade chocolate bar, public exposure does not change the fair trade premium. This is captured by a generalized model where intrinsic preferences and the concern for social approval are negatively correlated.

Suggested Citation

  • Engelmann, Dirk & Friedrichsen, Jana, 2018. "Who Cares About Social Image?," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 61, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
  • Handle: RePEc:rco:dpaper:61
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    Cited by:

    1. Sheheryar Banuri & Katarina Dankova & Philip Keefer, 2017. "It's not all fun and games: Feedback, task motivation, and effort," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 17-10, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    2. repec:eee:jeborg:v:148:y:2018:i:c:p:83-104 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Friedrichsen, Jana & König, Tobias & Schmacker, Renke, 2016. "Welfare stigma in the lab: Evidence of social signaling," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2016-208, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    4. Boyer, Pierre C. & Dwenger, Nadja & Rincke, Johannes, 2016. "Do norms on contribution behavior affect intrinsic motivation? Field-experimental evidence from Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 140-153.
    5. Sheheryar Banuri & Philip Keefer & Damien de Walque, 2017. "Love the job... or the patient? Task vs. mission-based motiviations in healthcare," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 17-09, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    6. Engelmann, Dirk & Friedrichsen, Jana & Kübler, Dorothea, 2018. "Fairness in Markets and Market Experiments," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 64, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    7. Pierre C. Boyer & Nadja Dwenger & Johannes Rincke, 2014. "Do Taxes Crowd Out Intrinsic Motivation? Field-Experimental Evidence from Germany," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2014-23, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    8. Alistair Munro & Marieta Valente, 2016. "Green Goods: Are They Good or Bad News for the Environment? Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment on Impure Public Goods," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 65(2), pages 317-335, October.
    9. Pio Baake & Helene Naegele, 2017. "Competition between For-Profit and Industry Labels: The Case of Social Labels in the Coffee Market," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1686, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Holm, Hakan J. & Samahita, Margaret, 2018. "Curating social image: Experimental evidence on the value of actions and selfies," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 83-104.
    11. Friedrichsen, Jana, 2018. "Signals Sell: Product Lines when Consumers Differ Both in Taste for Quality and Image Concern," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 70, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    image concerns; ethical consumption; fair trade; social approval; experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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