Compliance Behavior in Networks: Evidence from a Field Experiment

57 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2015

See all articles by Francesco Drago

Francesco Drago

University of Messina, CSEF & CEPR

Friederike Mengel

University of Essex; Maastricht University

Christian Traxler

Hertie School; Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Abstract

This paper studies the spread of compliance behavior in neighborhood networks involving over 500,000 households in Austria. We exploit random variation from a field experiment which varied the content of mailings sent to potential evaders of TV license fees. Our data reveal a strong treatment spillover: 'untreated' households, who were not part of the experimental sample, are more likely to switch from evasion to compliance in response to the mailings received by their network neighbors. We analyze the spillover within a model of communication in networks based on DeGroot (1974). Consistent with the model, we find that (i) the spillover increases with the treated households' eigenvector centrality and that (ii) local concentration of equally treated households produces a lower spillover. These findings carry important implications for enforcement policies.

Keywords: neighborhood networks, social learning, spillover, evasion, field experiment

JEL Classification: D8, H26, Z13

Suggested Citation

Drago, Francesco and Mengel, Friederike and Traxler, Christian, Compliance Behavior in Networks: Evidence from a Field Experiment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9443, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2684273

Francesco Drago (Contact Author)

University of Messina, CSEF & CEPR ( email )

Piazza Pugliatti 1
Messina
Italy

Friederike Mengel

University of Essex ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Maastricht University ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

Christian Traxler

Hertie School ( email )

Friedrichstrasse 180
Quartier 110
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschingerstr. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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