Personal Norms — and Not Only Social Norms — Shape Economic Behavior

91 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2020 Last revised: 13 Oct 2023

See all articles by Zvonimir Bašić

Zvonimir Bašić

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Eugenio Verrina

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences

Date Written: October 2023

Abstract

We propose a simple utility framework and design a novel two-part experiment to study the relevance of personal norms across various economic games and settings. We show that personal norms — together with social norms and monetary payoff — are highly predictive of individuals’ behavior. Moreover, they are: i) distinct from social norms across a series of economic contexts, ii) robust to an exogenous increase in the salience of social norms, and iii) complementary to social norms in predicting behavior. Our findings support personal norms as a key driver of economic behavior.

Keywords: Personal norms, social norms, social image, elicitation method, normative conflict

JEL Classification: C91, D01, D63, D64, D91

Suggested Citation

Bašić, Zvonimir and Verrina, Eugenio, Personal Norms — and Not Only Social Norms — Shape Economic Behavior (October 2023). MPI Collective Goods Discussion Paper, No. 2020/25, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3720539 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3720539

Zvonimir Bašić (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de

Eugenio Verrina

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences ( email )

Mittelweg 187
69120 Heidelberg, 53113
Germany

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