Norms Make Preferences Social

Journal of the European Economic Association, Forthcoming

77 Pages Posted: 20 May 2013 Last revised: 20 May 2015

See all articles by Erik O. Kimbrough

Erik O. Kimbrough

Chapman University - The George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics

Alexander Vostroknutov

University of Trento

Date Written: February 1, 2015

Abstract

We explore the idea that prosocial behavior in experimental games is driven by social norms imported into the laboratory. Under this view, differences in behavior across subjects is driven by heterogeneity in sensitivity to social norms. We introduce an incentivized method of eliciting individual norm-sensitivity, and we show how it relates to play in public goods, trust, dictator and ultimatum games. We show how our observations can be rationalized in a stylized model of norm-dependent preferences under reasonable assumptions about the nature of social norms. Then we directly elicit norms in these games to test the robustness of our interpretation.

Keywords: experimental economics, norms, social preferences, conditional cooperation, reciprocity

JEL Classification: C91, C92, D03

Suggested Citation

Kimbrough, Erik O. and Vostroknutov, Alexander, Norms Make Preferences Social (February 1, 2015). Journal of the European Economic Association, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2267135 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2267135

Erik O. Kimbrough (Contact Author)

Chapman University - The George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics ( email )

One University Dr
Orange, CA 92866
United States

Alexander Vostroknutov

University of Trento ( email )

Via Giuseppe Verdi 26
Trento, Trento 38152
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.vostroknutov.com

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
402
rank
69,016
Abstract Views
2,480
PlumX Metrics