nep-cbe New Economics Papers
on Cognitive and Behavioural Economics
Issue of 2022‒08‒08
three papers chosen by
Marco Novarese
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Norm from the top: a social norm nudge to promote low-practiced behaviors without boomerang effect By Alix Rouillé
  2. The (in)stability of farmers’ risk preferences By Finger, Robert; Wüpper, David; McCallum, Chloe
  3. Bridging America's Divide on Abortion, Guns and Immigration: An Experimental Study By Michele Belot; Guglielmo Briscese

  1. By: Alix Rouillé (CEPS - Centre d'Economie de l'ENS Paris-Saclay - Université Paris-Saclay - ENS Paris Saclay - Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay)
    Abstract: Social norms have proven to be a powerful nudge to make people adopt prosocial behavior. Informing people that most of their peers behave virtuously encourages them to improve their own behavior. However, since feedback is based on the average behavior of the population, the targeted desirable behavior must already be practiced by a majority of the population in order to avoid the boomerang effect. The boomerang effect is defined as a deterioration in attitude towards prosocial behavior. This deterioration is by the people who contributed to prosocial behavior more than the average; once they are informed about this, they modify their action accordingly. In this study, our purpose is to create a norm that can be implemented as nudges in behaviors where current social norm nudges are inefficient. This novel implementation could increase the range of prosocial behaviors that can be enhanced by social norm nudges. Within a nudge framework, we build a new norm that provides information based on the most altruistic people in the population. By having participants fill out additional surveys related to environmental topics, we found that this new norm, i.e., "Norm from the top", acted as an efficient nudge, increasing the average contribution to prosocial behavior. In contrast, the standard norm does not have a significant effect due to the boomerang effect. These results show the potential of applying the "Norm from the top" to promote low-practiced prosocial behaviors.
    Keywords: Nudge,Prosocial behavior,Descriptive norms,Injunctive norm,Social norms
    Date: 2022–05–19
  2. By: Finger, Robert; Wüpper, David; McCallum, Chloe
    Abstract: We test and quantify the (in)stability of farmer risk preferences, accounting for both the instability across elicitation methods and the instability over time. We used repeated measurements (N=1530) with Swiss fruit and grapevine producers over 3 years, where different risk preference elicitation methods (domain-specific self-assessment and incentivized lotteries) were used. We find that farmers’ risk preferences change considerably when measured using different methods. For example, self-reported risk preference and findings from a Holt and Laury lottery correlate only weakly (correlation coefficients range from 0.06 to 0.23). Moreover, we find that risk preferences vary considerable over time too, i.e. applying the same elicitation method to the same farmer in a different point in time results in different risk preference estimates. Our results show self-reported risk preferences are moderately correlated (correlation coefficients range from 0.42 to 0.55) from one year to another. Finally, we find experiencing climate and pest related crop damages is associated with farmers becoming more risk loving.
    Keywords: Research Methods/ Statistical Methods, Risk and Uncertainty
    Date: 2022–04
  3. By: Michele Belot; Guglielmo Briscese
    Abstract: Americans appear increasingly polarized and unable to bridge ideological divides. We study individuals' willingness to engage with others who hold opposite views on polarizing policies. Two thousand five hundred Americans are given the opportunity to listen to recordings of fellow countrymen and women expressing their views on immigration, abortion laws and gun ownership laws. We find that most Americans (more than two-thirds) are willing to listen to a view opposite to theirs, and a small fraction (ten percent) reports changing their views as a result. We also test whether emphasizing common grounds with those who think differently helps bridging views. We identify principles the vast majority of people agree upon: (1) a set of fundamental human rights, and (2) a set of simple behavioral etiquette rules. A random subsample of people are made explicitly aware they share common views, either on human rights or etiquette rules, before they have the opportunity to listen to different views. We find that the treatments induce people to adjust their views towards the center on abortion and immigration, relative to a control group, thus potentially reducing polarization.
    Date: 2022–06

This nep-cbe issue is ©2022 by Marco Novarese. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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