IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/esprep/195048.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Setting new behavioural standards: Sustainabilty pledges and how conformity impacts their outreach

Author

Listed:
  • Koessler, Ann-Kathrin

Abstract

Sustainability pledges are en vogue. In the business sector, but also in climate negotiations, pledges are used to signal actors' intention to act pro-environmentally. Laboratory experiments testify to the potential effectiveness of these public declarations. Previous work has examined under which conditions subsequent trust and cooperation can flourish. In this study, I postulate that also conformity is an important determinant for the effectiveness of pledges. In specific, I examine what role social influence plays in the decision to pledge. In a public good game, subjects can make prior play a pledge to contribute to the public good in the socially optimal way. Across treatment conditions, I vary the way in which the pledges are elicited. Hence, the degree of social influence on pledge making is manipulated and its impact can be examined. I find that when individuals are aware that the majority of other subjects decided to pledge, they are likely to conform and also make the pledge. The emergence of such a critical mass can be stimulated when the elicitation of pledges is based on previous contribution behavior. Overall, this commitment nudge is effective. Both socially-oriented and previously not socially-oriented subjects modify their behavior after the pledge.

Suggested Citation

  • Koessler, Ann-Kathrin, 2019. "Setting new behavioural standards: Sustainabilty pledges and how conformity impacts their outreach," EconStor Preprints 195048, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:esprep:195048
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/195048/1/Koessler2019_Pledges%20and%20conformity.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Guth, Werner & Levati, M. Vittoria & Sutter, Matthias & van der Heijden, Eline, 2007. "Leading by example with and without exclusion power in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 1023-1042, June.
    2. B. Douglas Bernheim & Christine L. Exley, 2015. "Understanding Conformity: An Experimental Investigation," Harvard Business School Working Papers 16-070, Harvard Business School.
    3. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
    4. Koessler, Ann-Kathrin & Torgler, Benno & Feld, Lars P. & Frey, Bruno S., 2019. "Commitment to pay taxes: Results from field and laboratory experiments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 78-98.
    5. Rivas, M. Fernanda & Sutter, Matthias, 2011. "The benefits of voluntary leadership in experimental public goods games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 176-178, August.
    6. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2010. "Bare promises: An experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 281-283, May.
    7. Huseyn Ismayilov & Jan Potters, 2016. "Why do promises affect trustworthiness, or do they?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(2), pages 382-393, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Besancenot, Damien & Vranceanu, Radu, 2021. "The generosity spillover effect of pledges in a two-person giving game," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 90(C).
    2. Damien Besancenot & Radu Vranceanu, 2019. "Pledges as a Social Influence Device: Experimental Evidence," Working Papers hal-02176269, HAL.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Vyrastekova, Jana & Funaki, Yukihiko, 2018. "Cooperation in a sequential dilemma game: How much transparency is good for cooperation?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 88-95.
    2. Lopera Baena, Maria Adelaida, 2016. "Evidence of Conditional and Unconditional Cooperation in a Public Goods Game: Experimental Evidence from Mali," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145797, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Raphaële Préget & Phu Nguyen-Van & Marc Willinger, 2016. "Who are the voluntary leaders? Experimental evidence from a sequential contribution game," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 81(4), pages 581-599, November.
    4. Eichenseer, Michael & Moser, Johannes, 2018. "Leadership in a Dynamic Public Goods Game: An Experimental Study," VfS Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181599, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Koukoumelis, Anastasios & Levati, M. Vittoria & Weisser, Johannes, 2012. "Leading by words: A voluntary contribution experiment with one-way communication," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 379-390.
    6. Gächter, Simon & Renner, Elke, 2018. "Leaders as role models and ‘belief managers’ in social dilemmas," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 321-334.
    7. Christoph Engel & Lilia Zhurakhovska, 2013. "Do Explicit Reasons Make Legal Intervention More Effective? An Experimental Study," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_16, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, revised Mar 2018.
    8. Oprea, Ryan & Charness, Gary & Friedman, Daniel, 2014. "Continuous time and communication in a public-goods experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 212-223.
    9. Gürerk, Özgür & Lauer, Thomas & Scheuermann, Martin, 2018. "Leadership with individual rewards and punishments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 57-69.
    10. Ibanez, Marcela & Schaffland, Elke, 2018. "Organizational performance with in-group and out-group leaders: An experiment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 1-10.
    11. Bryan C. McCannon, 2018. "Leadership and motivation for public goods contributions," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 65(1), pages 68-96, February.
    12. Karakostas, Alexandros & Kocher, Martin & Matzat, Dominik & Rau, Holger A. & Riewe, Gerhard, 2021. "The team allocator game: Allocation power in public goods games," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 419, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    13. Selhan Garip Sahin & Catherine Eckel & Mana Komai, 2015. "An experimental study of leadership institutions in collective action games," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 1(1), pages 100-113, July.
    14. Edward J Cartwright & Denise Lovett, 2013. "Leadership and conditional cooperation in public good games: What difference does the game make?," Studies in Economics 1324, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    15. Jordi Brandts & Christina Rott & Carles Solà, 2016. "Not just like starting over - Leadership and revivification of cooperation in groups," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(4), pages 792-818, December.
    16. Edward J. Cartwright & Denise Lovett, 2014. "Conditional Cooperation and the Marginal per Capita Return in Public Good Games," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(4), pages 1-23, November.
    17. Gerrit Frackenpohl & Adrian Hillenbrand & Sebastian Kube, 2016. "Leadership effectiveness and institutional frames," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(4), pages 842-863, December.
    18. Zakaria Babutsidze & Nobuyuki Hanaki & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2019. "Digital Communication and Swift Trust," Post-Print halshs-02409314, HAL.
    19. Ghidoni, Riccardo & Suetens, Sigrid, 2019. "Empirical Evidence on Repeated Sequential Games," Other publications TiSEM ff3a441f-e196-4e45-ba59-c, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    20. Faralla, Valeria & Borà, Guido & Innocenti, Alessandro & Novarese, Marco, 2020. "Promises in group decision making," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 1-11.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    voluntary approaches; environmental policy; pledge; social dilemma; public good; commitment; conformism;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:esprep:195048. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/zbwkide.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/zbwkide.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.