Self-Control, Commitment and Peer Pressure: A Laboratory Experiment
This paper focuses on the relationship between individual self-control and peer pressure. To this end, we implement a laboratory experiment that proceeds in two parts. The first part involves an individual real-effort task in which subjects may commit themselves to achieve a certain level of performance while being tempted by an alternative recreational activity. The second part consists of bargaining in a power-to-take game in which previously earned revenues are at stake. Experimental treatments represent variations in the available information given to peers regarding previous individual behavior. The results show that many subjects commit them-selves strongly and that future revelation of commitment decisions induces subjects to increase the credible components of commitment decisions. Past individual be-haviors also play a role in bargaining behavior: (i) partners who have committed themselves benefit from both lower take and destruction rates, and (ii) partners who have succumbed to temptation suffer from both higher take and destruction rates.
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