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Peer Pressure and Externalities: Evidence from a field experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Bruno Cardinale Lagomarsino

    (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres)

  • Matías Gutman

    (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres)

  • Lucía Freira

    (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres & UTDT)

  • María Laura Lanzalot

    (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres)

  • Maximiliano Lauletta

    (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres)

  • Leandro Malchik

    (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres)

  • Felipe Montaño Campos

    (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres)

  • Bianca Pacini

    (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres)

  • Martín Rossi

    (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres)

  • Christian Valencia

    (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres)

Abstract

We provide experimental evidence on the effect of peer pressure on activities with externalities. Specifically, we study the effect of being exposed to an observer in a public restroom on hand-washing behavior. Our estimates show that being exposed to an observer increases the probability of hand-washing in 13 percentage points. We also observe urinal flushing behavior, with similar results. We find empirical support that peer pressure may provide an additional way of solving the social suboptimality arising from externalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno Cardinale Lagomarsino & Matías Gutman & Lucía Freira & María Laura Lanzalot & Maximiliano Lauletta & Leandro Malchik & Felipe Montaño Campos & Bianca Pacini & Martín Rossi & Christian Valencia, 2015. "Peer Pressure and Externalities: Evidence from a field experiment," Working Papers 125, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Dec 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:sad:wpaper:125
    as

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    File URL: https://webacademicos.udesa.edu.ar/pub/econ/doc125.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Judah, G. & Aunger, R. & Schmidt, W.-P. & Michie, S. & Granger, S. & Curtis, V., 2009. "Experimental pretesting of hand-washing interventions in a natural setting," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 99(S2), pages 405-411.
    2. DeanS. Karlan, 2007. "Social connections and group banking," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages 52-84, February.
    3. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
    4. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-817, August.
    5. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Matthew O. Jackson, 2010. "Peer Pressure," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(1), pages 62-89, March.
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    Keywords

    peer pressure; externalities;

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