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Title:Peer effects and social preferences in voluntary cooperation PDF Logo
Authors:Thöni, Christian
Gächter, Simon
Issue Date:2012
Series/Report no.:Discussion Paper series, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit 6277
Abstract:Substantial evidence suggests the behavioral relevance of social preferences and also the importance of social influence effects (peer effects). Yet, little is known about how peer effects and social preferences are related. In a three-person gift-exchange experiment we find causal evidence for peer effects in voluntary cooperation: agents' efforts are positively related despite the absence of material payoff interdependencies. We confront this result with major theories of social preferences which predict that efforts are unrelated, or negatively related. Some theories allow for positively-related efforts but cannot explain most observations. Conformism, norm following and considerations of social esteem are candidate explanations.
Subjects:social preferences
voluntary cooperation
peer effects
reflection problem
gift exchange
conformism
social norms
social esteem
JEL:C92
D03
Persistent Identifier of the first edition:urn:nbn:de:101:1-201203064070
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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