IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

I Did it Your Way. An Experimental Investigation of Peer Effects in Investment Choices

  • Alexia Delfino
  • Luigi Marengo
  • Matteo Ploner


We experimentally investigate imitation in investment choices and focus on cognitive aspects of decision making. At this aim, we manipulate three main dimensions of choice: time pressure, normative content of social information, and uncertainty of the investment. We document the existence of imitation, with stronger social effects among those who discover to be less cautious than their peers. In line with our hypotheses, a piece of information which is more representative of average group behavior induces stronger imitation. Furthermore, higher time pressure fosters imitation. In contrast to our hypotheses, imitation is weaker for uncertain investments than for risky investments.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia in its series CEEL Working Papers with number 1305.

in new window

Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpce:1305
Contact details of provider: Postal: Via Inama 5, 38100 Trento
Phone: +39-461-882201
Fax: +39-461-882222
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Abhijit Banerjee & Arun G. Chandrasekhar & Esther Duflo & Matthew O. Jackson, 2012. "The Diffusion of Microfinance," NBER Working Papers 17743, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  4. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2008. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," NBER Working Papers 14475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri, 2003. "Portfolio Choice and Risk Attitudes: An Experiment," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt7vz7w609, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  6. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2004. "A Dual Self Model of Impulse Control," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2049, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Basit Zafar, 2009. "An experimental investigation of why individuals conform," Staff Reports 365, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  8. Spiros Bougheas & Jeroen Nieboer & Martin Sefton, 2013. "Risk Taking in Social Settings: Group and Peer Effects," Discussion Papers 2013-01, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  9. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  10. Robert J. Shiller, 1995. "Conversation, Information, and Herd Behavior," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1092, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Alexandre Mas & Enrico Moretti, 2009. "Peers at Work," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 112-45, March.
  12. Amrei M. Lahno & Marta Serra-Garcia, 2012. "Peer Effects in Risk Taking," CESifo Working Paper Series 4057, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Glaeser, Edward L & Sacerdote, Bruce & Scheinkman, Jose A, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-48, May.
  14. Gneezy, U. & Potters, J.J.M., 1996. "An experiment on risk taking and evaluation periods," Discussion Paper 1996-61, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  15. Georg Weizsacker, 2010. "Do We Follow Others When We Should? A Simple Test of Rational Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2340-60, December.
  16. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
  17. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  18. Kirman, Alan, 1989. "The Intrinsic Limits of Modern Economic Theory: The Emperor Has No Clothes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(395), pages 126-39, Supplemen.
  19. Sutter, Matthias & Kocher, Martin & Strau[ss], Sabine, 2003. "Bargaining under time pressure in an experimental ultimatum game," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 341-347, December.
  20. Piero Cipollone & Alfonso Rosolia, 2006. "Social Interactions in High School: Lessons from an Earthquake," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 596, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  21. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "The Role of Information and Social Interactions in Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Steffen Huck & Joerg Oechssler, 1999. "Informational cascades in the laboratory: Do they occur for the right reasons?," Experimental 9901001, EconWPA.
  23. Cappelletti, Dominique & Güth, Werner & Ploner, Matteo, 2011. "Being of two minds: Ultimatum offers under cognitive constraints," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 940-950.
  24. Jona Linde & Joep Sonnemans, 2012. "Social comparison and risky choices," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 45-72, February.
  25. Luca Corazzini & Ben Greiner, 2005. "Herding, Social Preferences and (Non-) Conformity," Working Paper Series in Economics 21, University of Cologne, Department of Economics, revised 24 Jan 2007.
  26. Heiner, Ronald A, 1983. "The Origin of Predictable Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 560-95, September.
  27. Egebark, Johan & Ekström, Mathias, 2011. "Like What You Like or Like What Others Like? Conformity and Peer Effects on Facebook," Working Paper Series 886, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  28. Anderson, Lisa R & Holt, Charles A, 1997. "Information Cascades in the Laboratory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 847-62, December.
  29. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
  30. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:trn:utwpce:1305. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marco Tecilla)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.