Economics at your fingertips  

Follow the leader? A field experiment on social influence

Kate Ambler, Susan Godlonton and María P. Recalde

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2021, vol. 188, issue C, 1280-1297

Abstract: We conduct an artefactual field experiment in endogenously formed groups in rural Malawi to investigate social influence in risk taking. Treatments vary whether individuals observe the behavior of a formally elected leader, an external leader, or a random peer. Results show social influence in risk taking with differential influence by leader type. The decisions made by peers are most influential, followed by those made by formal leaders, and then external leaders. Exploratory analysis suggests that participants follow peers because they extract information from their choices and share risks with them; while other forms of social utility are gained from following the example of leaders.

Keywords: Peer effects; Risk taking; Lab-in-the-field; Malawi (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C9 D8 H0 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
Working Paper: Follow the leader? A field experiment on social influence (2019) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2021.05.022

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

More articles in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2021-10-02
Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:188:y:2021:i:c:p:1280-1297