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Social information 'nudges': An experiment with multiple group references

Author

Listed:
  • Shaun Hargreaves Heap

    (King's College London)

  • Abhijit Ramalingam

    (University of East Anglia)

  • David Rojo Arjona

    (University of Leicester)

Abstract

Social information 'nudges' concerning how others perform typically boost individual performances in experiments with one group reference point. However, in many natural settings, sometimes due to policy, there are several such group reference points. We address the complications that such multiple group social information might introduce through an experiment. The boost to average performance is significant and comparable to the one group case. Between-group inequality does not change. Individual inequality falls, however, because the boost is largest among the pre-‘nudge’ very poor performers. Finally, the boost to average performance is highest when individuals freely choose their group affiliations.

Suggested Citation

  • Shaun Hargreaves Heap & Abhijit Ramalingam & David Rojo Arjona, 2015. "Social information 'nudges': An experiment with multiple group references," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 15-02, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  • Handle: RePEc:uea:wcbess:15-02
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    File URL: http://www.uea.ac.uk/documents/166500/0/CBESS-15-02.pdf/8459ba59-daf2-46c2-a6b4-cc9496b3c92f
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Azmat, Ghazala & Iriberri, Nagore, 2010. "The importance of relative performance feedback information: Evidence from a natural experiment using high school students," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(7-8), pages 435-452, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christoph Bühren & Maria Daskalakis, 2015. "Do not incentivize eco-friendly behavior - Go for a competition to go green!," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201534, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social comparison; nudge; effort provision; reference points;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General

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