public good

[Analyse] Social Norms

The aim of this project is to study how social context and social norms shape cooperation and social preferences.

Why do individuals pay their taxes or demande redistribution? Why do they vote at all and why do they vote they way they do?

There has already been extensive analysis of social norms in the context of lab experiments with public good games. A large number of lab experiments have highlighted the importance of conditional cooperation: people cooperate if they believe others are also cooperating. In experiments that elicited participants’ beliefs about how much they think others will contribute, contributions are indeed positively correlated with beliefs (Dufwenberg and Kirchsteiger, 2004 ; Fischbacher & Gaechter, 2010). But what is the external validity of those experiments? How do they translate to the real-world where social preferences interact with norms in matters such as tax compliance or political opinions? How do inequalities affect social preferences and cooperation?

One way to examine this questions is to run experiments on individuals belonging to large-scale panels for which real-world information over an extended period of time is already available. For example, this project aims to use the French ELIPSS panel and the American Knowledge Internet panel to carry out a set of experiments designed to make a link between individuals’ backgrounds and their social behaviours. In particular, this project will examine the link between income inequality and cooperation.

Research article