Public Discourse and Socially Responsible Market Behavior
43 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2020 Last revised: 7 Aug 2023
Date Written: July 30, 2023
We investigate the causal impact of public discourse on socially responsible market behavior. Across three laboratory experiments, having market participants engage in public discourse generally increases market social responsibility. These positive impacts are robust to variation in several characteristics of the discourse and appear to be partly driven by strengthening beliefs that others support socially responsible exchange. However, relaxing requirements to engage in discourse sharply reduces its effectiveness. Our findings suggest that campaigns encouraging discussion of appropriate market behavior can have powerful impacts on addressing inefficiencies due to market failures, but that policies encouraging broad public engagement may be important.
Keywords: Public discourse, market failure, externalities, social responsibility, experiment, communication
JEL Classification: C92, D62, D83, M14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation