University of California San Diego
Rady School of Management
Wells Fargo Hall, Room 4W122
9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0553
La Jolla, CA 92093-0553
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2017||From Extreme to Mainstream: How Social Norms Unravel|
with Leonardo Bursztyn, Georgy Egorov: w23415
Social norms are typically thought to be persistent and long-lasting, sometimes surviving through growth, recessions, and regime changes. In some cases, however, they can quickly change. This paper examines the unraveling of social norms in communication when new information becomes available, e.g., aggregated through elections. We build a model of strategic communication between citizens who can hold one of two mutually exclusive opinions. In our model, agents communicate their opinions to each other, and senders care about receivers' approval. As a result, senders are more likely to express the more popular opinion, while receivers make less inference about senders who stated the popular view. We test these predictions using two experiments. In the main experiment, we identify the causal...
|Status Goods: Experimental Evidence from Platinum Credit Cards|
with Leonardo Bursztyn, Bruno Ferman, Martin Kanz, Gautam Rao: w23414
This paper provides novel field-experimental evidence on status goods. We work with an Indonesian bank that markets platinum credit cards to high-income customers. In a first experiment, we show that demand for the platinum card greatly exceeds demand for a nondescript control product with identical benefits, suggesting demand for the pure status aspect of the card. Transaction data reveal that platinum cards are more likely to be used in social contexts, implying social image motivations. Combining price variation with information on the use of the card sheds light on the magnitude of the demand for social status. In a second experiment, we provide evidence of positional externalities from the consumption of these status goods. The final experiment shows that increasing self-esteem causa...
|October 2015||Moral Incentives in Credit Card Debt Repayment: Evidence from a Field Experiment|
with Leonardo Bursztyn, Daniel Gottlieb, Martin Kanz: w21611
We study the role of morality in debt repayment, using an experiment with the credit card customers of a large Islamic bank in Indonesia. In our main treatment, clients receive a text message stating that “non-repayment of debts by someone who is able to repay is an injustice.” This moral appeal decreases the share of delinquent customers by 4.4 percentage points from a baseline of 66 percent, and reduces default among the customers with the highest ex-ante credit risk. Additional treatments help benchmark the effects against those of direct financial incentives, understand the underlying mechanisms, and rule out competing explanations, such as reminder effects, priming religion, signaling the lender's commitment to debt collection, and provision of new information.