Abstract

https://ssrn.com/abstract=2514536
 


 



The Use of Descriptive Norms in Public Administration: A Panacea for Improving Citizen Behaviours?


Peter John


University College London - School of Public Policy

Michael Sanders


Cabinet Office (UK) - Behavioural Insights Team

Jennifer Wang


Cabinet Office (UK) - Behavioural Insights Team

October 24, 2014


Abstract:     
Recent years have seen a growth in the use of social norm messages by local and national governments. These messages have been primarily used to induce desired behaviours among the non-compliant minority by pointing to the compliance of the majority. As well as being of considerable theoretical interest, these messages have an unusually high level of empirical and experimental support in government settings. In this paper, we review many of these applied experiments in a bid to understand the workings of social norm messages and, just as importantly, where they do not work as well. We also discuss why this kind of intervention has attracted such an unusually large body of experimental evidence.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 28

Keywords: social norms, experiments


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Date posted: October 25, 2014  

Suggested Citation

John, Peter and Sanders, Michael and Wang, Jennifer, The Use of Descriptive Norms in Public Administration: A Panacea for Improving Citizen Behaviours? (October 24, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2514536

Contact Information

Peter John (Contact Author)
University College London - School of Public Policy ( email )
29/30 Tavistock Square
London, WC1H 9QU
United Kingdom
Michael Sanders
Cabinet Office (UK) - Behavioural Insights Team ( email )
London, SW1A 2AS
United Kingdom
Jennifer Wang
Cabinet Office (UK) - Behavioural Insights Team ( email )
London, SW1A 2AS
United Kingdom
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