Nudging with Care: The Risks and Benefits of Social Information

Public Choice (2019). doi: 10.1007/s11127-019-00684-6

30 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2019 Last revised: 12 Jul 2019

See all articles by Cristina Bicchieri

Cristina Bicchieri

University of Pennsylvania

Eugen Dimant

University of Pennsylvania, Behavioral Ethics Lab

Date Written: April 19, 2019

Abstract

Norms and nudges are both popular types of interventions. Recent years have seen the rise of 'norm-nudges' - nudges whose mechanism of action relies on social norms, providing or eliciting social expectations. Norm-nudges can be powerful interventions, but they can easily fail to be effective and can even backfire unless they are designed with care. We highlight important considerations when designing norm-nudges and discuss a general model of social behavior based on expectations and conditional preferences. We present the results of several experiments where norm-nudging can backfire, and ways to avoid these negative outcomes.

Keywords: Behavioral Economics, Norm-Nudges, Nudge, Social Information, Social Norms

JEL Classification: B41, D01, D9

Suggested Citation

Bicchieri, Cristina and Dimant, Eugen, Nudging with Care: The Risks and Benefits of Social Information (April 19, 2019). Public Choice (2019). doi: 10.1007/s11127-019-00684-6. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3319088 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3319088

Cristina Bicchieri

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-5820 (Phone)

Eugen Dimant (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania, Behavioral Ethics Lab ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/eugendimant/

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