Research Seminar

11th May 2015 at 12:00


Professor Uwe Dulleck,  QUT Business School

 Will present the paper:

“Imposing Codes of Good Conduct Promotes Social Behaviour”


Abstract: In this article we study experimentally how public statements about future social behaviour, used in oaths and code of conducts, affect individual decisions. While the literature focuses on bilateral interactions, we study a social dilemma situation. We show that in such a context compulsory statements may be more effective than voluntary ones. A large part of human activities rely on the compliance of individuals with certain behavioural standards, especially when material incentives for opportunistic behaviour are prevalent. Good academic conduct or ethical behaviour in positions of political or economic power are examples. Oaths or Codes of conduct have been proposed as an instrument to fight this social dilemma. In this article we test the effect of such statement of intent and distinguish between voluntary and compulsory statements. Three effects are prevalent: a selection effect, i.e. people with a general high propensity to contribute make a statement; a commitment effect, i.e. people making the statement increase their contribution; and a coordination effect, i.e. people increase their contributions due to the assurance that the other players also pledged the statement.

The comparison of voluntary and compulsory statements shows, that the effect is strongest when the statement is imposed on everyone, emphasizing the role the coordination effect plays in social dilemma situations.



Organizers: Prof. Gunther Capelle-Blancard (Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, Labex Refi), Prof. Christophe Moussu (ESCP Europe, Labex Refi), Arthur Petit-Romec (ESCP Europe, Labex Refi)

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