Public Discourse and Socially Responsible Market Behavior

69 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2020

See all articles by Björn Bartling

Björn Bartling

University of Zurich - Department of Economics; Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Vanessa Valero

Loughborough University

Roberto A. Weber

University of Zurich - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Lan Yao

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics - School of Economics

Date Written: August 18, 2020

Abstract

We investigate the causal impact of public discourse on socially responsible market behavior. We conduct laboratory market experiments with products that differ in their production costs and social impact, and provide market actors and impacted third parties with the opportunity to discuss appropriate market behavior. Across two studies that vary characteristics of the discourse, the external impact and the participants, we find that public discourse substantially increases market social responsibility. Our findings suggest that discussions and campaigns focusing on appropriate market behavior can be powerful tools for shaping responsible norms governing market conduct and addressing inefficiencies due to market failures.

Keywords: public discourse, market failure, externalities, social responsibility, social norms, experiment, communication

JEL Classification: C92, D62, D83, M14

Suggested Citation

Bartling, Björn and Valero, Vanessa and Weber, Roberto A. and Yao, Lan, Public Discourse and Socially Responsible Market Behavior (August 18, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3677968 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3677968

Björn Bartling (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Zuerich, 8006
Switzerland

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

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

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Vanessa Valero

Loughborough University ( email )

Ashby Road
Nottingham NG1 4BU
Great Britain

Roberto A. Weber

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Zuerich, 8006
Switzerland

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

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Lan Yao

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics - School of Economics ( email )

777 Guoding Road
Shanghai, 200433
China

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