Contagion of Pro- and Anti-Social Behavior Among Peers and the Role of Social Proximity

44 Pages Posted: 6 May 2020

See all articles by Eugen Dimant

Eugen Dimant

University of Pennsylvania; CESifo

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

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, peer effects, anti-social & pro-social behavior

JEL Classification: C910, D640, D900

Suggested Citation

Dimant, Eugen, Contagion of Pro- and Anti-Social Behavior Among Peers and the Role of Social Proximity (2020). CESifo Working Paper No. 8263, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3594015

Eugen Dimant (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/view/eugendimant/

CESifo ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich
Germany

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