Social Proximity and the Erosion of Norm Compliance

79 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2020

See all articles by Cristina Bicchieri

Cristina Bicchieri

University of Pennsylvania

Eugen Dimant

University of Pennsylvania; CESifo

Simon Gaechter

University of Nottingham; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Daniele Nosenzo

University of Nottingham

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Abstract

We study how individuals' compliance with norms of pro-social behavior is influenced by other actors' compliance in a novel, dynamic, and non-strategic experimental setting. We are particularly interested in the role that social proximity among peers plays in eroding or upholding norm compliance. Our results suggest that social proximity is crucial. In settings without known proximity, norm compliance erodes swiftly because participants only conform to observed norm violations of their peers while ignoring norm compliance. With known social proximity, participants conform to both types of observed behaviors, thus halting the erosion of norm compliance. Our findings stress the importance of the broader social context for norm compliance and show that, even in the absence of social sanctions, compliance can be sustained in repeated interactions, provided there is group identification, as is the case in many social encounters in natural and online environments.

Keywords: norm compliance, social norms, social proximity

JEL Classification: C92, D64, D9

Suggested Citation

Bicchieri, Cristina and Dimant, Eugen and Gachter, Simon and Nosenzo, Daniele, Social Proximity and the Erosion of Norm Compliance. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3730462 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3730462

Cristina Bicchieri (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-5820 (Phone)

Eugen Dimant

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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

CESifo ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich
Germany

Simon Gachter

University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Daniele Nosenzo

University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
39
Abstract Views
214
PlumX Metrics