Nudging with Care: The Risks and Benefits of Social Information
Public Choice, Forthcoming
29 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2019
Date Written: January 20, 2019
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: Suggested Citation