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An Experimental Investigation of Social Norms

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Abstract

Several economists have maintained that social and internalized norms can enforce cooperation in public good situations. This experimental study investigates impacts of social and internalized norms for cooperation among strangers in a public good game. The experiment has two treatment effects. First, it reveals each person's identity and his contribution to the public good. Second, it presents the public good game in a language which suggests associations to social and internalized norms for cooperation. Both treatment effects increase voluntary contributions significantly. These results suggest two important policy tools to crowd in social and internalized norms in a public good situation.

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  • Mari Rege & Kjetil Telle, 2001. "An Experimental Investigation of Social Norms," Discussion Papers 310, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:310
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    File URL: https://www.ssb.no/a/publikasjoner/pdf/DP/dp310.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and Nonmonetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 366-380, March.
    2. Fehr, Ernst & Falk, Armin, 2002. "Psychological foundations of incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 687-724, May.
    3. Benno Torgler & Bruno S. Frey & Clevo Wilson, 2007. "Environmental and Pro-Social Norms: Evidence from 30 Countries," Working Papers 2007.84, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    4. Torgler Benno & Frey Bruno S. & Wilson Clevo, 2009. "Environmental and Pro-Social Norms: Evidence on Littering," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-41, April.
    5. Benno Torgler & Maria A. Garcia-Valinas & Alison Macintyre, 2012. "Justifiability of Littering: An Empirical Investigation," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 21(2), pages 209-231, May.
    6. Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2003. "Anonymity in giving in a natural context : an economic field experiment in thirty churches," CCSO Working Papers 200308, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
    7. Edward Cartwright & Amrish Patel, 2010. "Public Goods, Social Norms, and Naïve Beliefs," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(2), pages 199-223, April.
    8. Dufwenberg, Martin & Muren, Astri, 2002. "Discrimination by Gender and Social Distance," Research Papers in Economics 2002:2, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    9. Chih, Yao-Yu, 2016. "Social network structure and government provision crowding-out on voluntary contributions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 83-90.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cooperation; Framing; Public goods; Social approval; Social norms.;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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