Bartling, Björn Valero, Vanessa Weber, Roberto A. Yao, Lan
Working Paper No. 359
University of Zurich, Department of Economics, Zurich
We investigate the causal impact of public discourse on socially responsible market behavior. We conduct laboratory market experiments with products that differ in their production costs and social impact, and provide market actors and impacted third parties with the opportunity to discuss appropriate market behavior. Across two studies that vary characteristics of the discourse, the external impact and the participants, we find that public discourse substantially increases market social responsibility. Our findings suggest that discussions and campaigns focusing on appropriate market behavior can be powerful tools for shaping responsible norms governing market conduct and addressing inefficiencies due to market failures.
public discourse market failure externalities social responsibility social norms experiment communication