Individuals differ in their propensity to violate social norms. Over time, the propensity of some individuals to violate these norms may change in response to socioeconomic shocks. When these changes are not publicly observable, norm abidance may remain high because individuals fear social costs. We study how an opinion leader who is privately informed about the direction and size of the societal change can boost or hinder the abidance by a social norm. We show that the opinion leader can impact individuals' behavior when she is neither too ideologically sided in favor of the norm violation, nor too concerned about her popularity. The impact of the opinion leader is stronger when social concerns are an important driver of individuals' behavior, the uncertainty concerning the deepness of the societal change is high, and citizens interact more often with like- minded individuals.

Legitimize through endorsements

Edoardo Grillo
2022

Abstract

Individuals differ in their propensity to violate social norms. Over time, the propensity of some individuals to violate these norms may change in response to socioeconomic shocks. When these changes are not publicly observable, norm abidance may remain high because individuals fear social costs. We study how an opinion leader who is privately informed about the direction and size of the societal change can boost or hinder the abidance by a social norm. We show that the opinion leader can impact individuals' behavior when she is neither too ideologically sided in favor of the norm violation, nor too concerned about her popularity. The impact of the opinion leader is stronger when social concerns are an important driver of individuals' behavior, the uncertainty concerning the deepness of the societal change is high, and citizens interact more often with like- minded individuals.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3457290
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social impact