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TDPE presents: Guatam Bose

341 Eggers Hall

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Guatam Bose on Conforming to Group Norms: An Experimental Study

Guatam Bose, Associate Professor of Economics, University of New South Wales

Authors: Guatam Bose, Evgenia Dechter and Lorraine Ivancic 

There is substantial experimental and empirical evidence to suggest that individual behavior in bilateral or small-group interactions is affected by social norms. Further, social norms vary according to context. Previous research largely focuses on norms of fairness, not norms per se. We design an experiment to decouple norm-adherence from fairness. We find that (a) a group norm evolves and individuals cluster more tightly around it as they learn the average behavior of the group, (b) actions further from this norm in a self-serving direction are less acceptable by others, and (c) when an agent is moved to a group with a different norm, s/he conforms quickly to the new norm.

Gautam Bose is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia and is currently a visiting professor at Boston University. Gautam Bose's research is primarily in the areas of microeconomic theory and development economics. His main interests include theoretical models of intermediation and models of corruption in developing economies.

Open to the public.

Sponsored by the Trade Development and Political Economy program at the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

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