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Personal norms in the online public good game

Marco Catola, Simone D'Alessandro (), Pietro Guarnieri and Veronica Pizziol

Discussion Papers from Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Abstract: This paper shows that personal norms have a prominent role in explaining prosocial contributions in an online public good game. This finding suggests that the role of social norms might be loosened when subjects are distanced, and interaction occurs online and in complete anonymity. Through cluster analysis, we show that a) subjects who contributed more hold both high expectations about the social norms followed by others and a high personal normative commitment; b) subjects who contributed less hold both low expectations and have low personal commitment. However, for both clusters the personal norm is the main driver of decisions. Moreover, we elicited personal and social norms in a group of subjects not performing the contribution task, thus obtaining a measure of norms not affected by self-justification and ruling out a potential endogeneity issue.

Keywords: Public good game; online experiment; personal norms; social norms; belief elicitation; social dilemma (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C90 D71 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-07-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-gth and nep-soc
Note: ISSN 2039-1854
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