Economics at your fingertips  

Wallflowers: Experimental Evidence of an Aversion to Standing Out

Daniel Jones () and Sera Linardi ()

Management Science, 2014, vol. 60, issue 7, 1757-1771

Abstract: An extensive literature on reputation signaling in prosocial settings has focused on an intrinsic desire for positive reputation. In this paper, we provide experimental evidence that some individuals are averse to both positive and negative reputation and will therefore respond to visibility by signaling that they are an “average altruism type” relative to their audience. We formalize our hypotheses about “wallflower” behavior in a theoretical model. Our experimental results show that instead of uniformly increasing contributions, visibility draws contributions toward the middle of others' contributions. As a result, visibility is associated with higher levels of giving only in scenarios where others are giving a large amount. We also observe heterogeneity in reputation concerns: wallflower behavior is particularly strong for women and can be observed in several different settings.Data, as supplemental material, are available at . This paper was accepted by Uri Gneezy, behavioral economics.

Keywords: economics; behavior and behavioral decision making; organizational studies; motivation--incentives; microeconomic behavior (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (20) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Wallflowers: Experimental Evidence of an Aversion to Standing Out (2014) 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:

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in Management Science from INFORMS Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Matthew Walls ().

Page updated 2020-06-30
Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:60:y:2014:i:7:p:1757-1771