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Social Image and Economic Behavior in the Field: Identifying, Understanding and Shaping Social Pressure

Leonardo Bursztyn, Robert Jensen

NBER Working Paper No. 23013
Issued in December 2016
NBER Program(s):Economics of Education, Labor Studies, Public Economics, Political Economy

Many people care about how they are perceived by those around them. A number of recent field experiments in economics have found that such social image concerns can have powerful effects on a range of behaviors. In this paper, we first review this recent literature aimed at identifying social image concerns or social pressure. We then highlight and discuss two important areas that have been comparatively less well-explored in this literature: understanding social pressure, including the underlying mechanisms, and whether such pressure can be shaped or influenced.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23013

Published: Leonardo Bursztyn & Robert Jensen, 2017. "Social Image and Economic Behavior in the Field: Identifying, Understanding, and Shaping Social Pressure," Annual Review of Economics, vol 9(1), pages 131-153. citation courtesy of

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