Contagion of Pro- and Anti-Social Behavior Among Peers and the Role of Social Proximity
39 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2018 Last revised: 15 May 2019
Date Written: March 1, 2019
This paper uses a novel experimental design to study the contagion of pro- and anti-social behavior and the role of social proximity among peers. Across systematic variations thereof, we find that anti-social behavior is generally more contagious than pro-social behavior. Surprisingly, we also find that social proximity amplifies the contagion of anti-social behavior more strongly than the contagion of pro-social behavior. Anti-social individuals are also most susceptible to the behavioral contagion of other anti-social peers. These findings paired with the methodological contribution inform the design of effective norm-based policy interventions directed at facilitating pro-social behavior and reducing anti-social behavior in social and economic environments.
Keywords: Behavioral Contagion, Experiment, Peer Effects, Anti-Social Behavior, Pro-Social Behavior
JEL Classification: C91, D64, D9
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation