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The Coordinating Power of Social Norms

Francesco Fallucchi () and Daniele Nosenzo

Economics Working Papers from Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University

Abstract: A popular empirical technique to measure norms uses coordination games to elicit what subjects in an experiment consider appropriate behavior in a given situation (Krupka and Weber, 2013). The Krupka-Weber method works under the assumption that subjects use their normative expectations to solve the coordination game. However, subjects might use alternative focal points to coordinate, in which case the method may deliver distorted measurements of the social norm. We test the vulnerability of the Krupka-Weber method to the presence of alternative salient focal points. We find that the method is robust as long as there are clear normative expectations about what constitutes appropriate behavior. In settings where there is a less clear consensus about the social norm, the method is more vulnerable.

Keywords: Social norms; Krupka-Weber method; Coordination; Focal point; Saliency; Dictator game (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 C91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 33
Date: 2020-06-19
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-exp, nep-gth and nep-soc
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