Social norms with private values: Theory and experiments

Giovanna d'Adda, Martin Dufwenberg, Francesco Passarelli, Guido Tabellini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We propose a simple theory of social norms that models the distinct influence on behavior of personal values, normative expectations and empirical expectations. The first and second moments of the distribution of normative expectations affect the strength of social norms' pull on behavior. We test the empirical predictions of the model through an experiment based on a variant of the dictator game. Consistent with the theory, we find that normative expectations influence generosity and that higher dispersion of such expectations leads to more variation in giving behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-304
Number of pages17
JournalGames and Economic Behavior
StatePublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Consensus
  • Experiment
  • Normative expectations
  • Partial norms
  • Social norms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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