Date of Original Version

6-15-2009

Type

Working Paper

Rights Management

All Rights Reserved

Abstract or Description

We introduce a method for identifying social norms, based on the property that they reflect collective perceptions regarding the appropriateness of behaviors. We demonstrate that the norms we elicit, along with a simple model combining concern for norm-compliance with utility for money, predict changes in behavior across several variants of the dictator game. Our findings indicate that individuals care about monetary payoffs and the social appropriateness of any action taken. Further, we find that a social norm is best characterized as a profile of varying degrees of social appropriateness over the entire menu of actions available to a decision maker.

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