Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/207644
Authors: 
Schmidt, Robert J.
Year of Publication: 
2019
Series/Report no.: 
Discussion Paper Series 668
Abstract: 
We experimentally study the relationship between social norms and social preferences on the individual level. Subjects coordinate on injunctive and descriptive norms, and we test which type of norm is more strongly related to behavior in a series of dictator games. Our experiment yields three insights. First, both injunctive and descriptive norms explain dictator behavior and recipients' guesses, but perceptions about descriptive social norms are behaviorally more relevant. Second, our findings corroborate that coordination games are a valid tool to elicit social norm perception on the subject level, as the individuals' coordination choices are good predictors for their actual behavior. Third, average descriptive norms on the population level accurately predict behavior on the population level. This suggests that the elicitation of descriptive social norms using coordination games is a potentially powerful tool to predict behavior in settings that are otherwise difficult to explore.
Subjects: 
injunctive social norms
descriptive social norms
social preferences
coordination
JEL: 
C70
D70
D91
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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