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Measuring Image Concern

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  • Emeric Henry

    (Département d'économie)

  • Jan Sonntag

Abstract

It is now well documented that individuals, on average, change their behavior when their actions are observed by others. Yet, there is no systematic way of measuring this dimension of preferences at the individual level. In this paper, we propose a novel experimental game to measure the individual sensitivity to image concerns. We show that few socio-economic characteristics can explain the level of image concern. One exception is that members of ethnic minorities seem to be more imaged concerned, in particular when observed by a member of other groups. Men (resp. women) are more image concerned when observed by women (resp. men). Finally, we show that more image concerned individuals tend to be more selfish and find evidence consistent with the fact that they try to avoid situations where their actions risk being visible.

Suggested Citation

  • Emeric Henry & Jan Sonntag, 2015. "Measuring Image Concern," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/1bq1k745nc8, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/1bq1k745nc834o1mcjvbqevsoq
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    Cited by:

    1. Emeric Henry & Charles Louis-Sidois, 2018. "Voting and Contributing While the Group is Watching," Sciences Po publications 2018-11, Sciences Po.
    2. Emeric Henry & Sergei Guriev & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2020. "Checking and Sharing Alt-Facts," Sciences Po publications 2020-06, Sciences Po.
    3. Bao, Wei & Rao, Yulei & Wang, Jianxin & Houser, Daniel, 2018. "Social exposure and trustworthiness: Experimental evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 73-75.
    4. Emeric Henry & Charles Louis-Sidois, 2020. "Voting and Contributing When the Group Is Watching," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 246-276, August.
    5. Hofmann, Elisa & Fiagbenu, Michael E. & Özgümüs, Asri & Tahamtan, Amir M. & Regner, Tobias, 2021. "Who is watching me? Disentangling audience and interpersonal closeness effects in a Pay-What-You-Want context," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 90(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Image concern; Experimental measurement; Repeated prisoner's dilemna;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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