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Public Goods and Future Audiences: Acting as Role Models?

Giuseppe Attanasi (), Roberta Dessi, Frédéric Moisan and Donald Robertson
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Frédéric Moisan: University of Cambridge

No 2019-27, GREDEG Working Papers from Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France

Abstract: Individuals' decisions to behave prosocially (or the contrary) can often be observed by other individuals, with no direct connection to them, but who may nevertheless be influenced by them (e.g. through social media). Does knowing that they may be viewed as role models by other, notably younger, people a ect the way individuals behave? Does it make them more likely to behave prosocially? We study how participants' behavior in an experimental public good game is affected when they know that information about their choices and outcomes, together with different sets of information about their identity, will be transmitted the following year to a set of new, unknown, younger participants - with no payoff linkages between the two sets of players. When subjects know their photo, choices and outcomes will be transmitted, they contribute significantly less. We consider different possible explanations, and argue that the most convincing is based on image concerns, but in a surprising way: subjects in the photo treatment care about not being perceived as "suckers" by future players.

Keywords: Role models; image concerns; identity; audience; public goods (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 C92 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 46 pages
Date: 2019-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-cdm and nep-exp
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