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What makes Law to change Behavior? An experimental study

Rustam Romaniuc ()

IEL Working Papers from Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS

Abstract: The use of mild laws to affect people’s behavior is pervasive – from environmental regulation to tort law – but little is known about how the law changes human behavior and social outcomes when it uses non-deterrent monetary incentives. We find that when low monetary incentives are used in tandem with an indication of what one should do (i.e., a norm), then the effect on behavior is positive but transitory. The effect is long lasting when we use low monetary incentives in isolation. This suggests that the indication of what one should do makes salient the conflict between people’s normative expectations and what others effectively do. This undermines conditional cooperators’ own motivation to contribute to public goods. Finally, we compare the effects of mild laws with how mere messages indicating what is moral behavior affect contributions to the public good. Contrary to the existing experimental evidence, we find that messages fail to improve cooperation. We spotlight the conditions under which this is the case.

Pages: 34 pages
Date: 2015-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-env, nep-hpe and nep-law
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

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Journal Article: What Makes Law to Change Behavior? An Experimental Study (2016) Downloads
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