Injunctive and descriptive social norms regarding cheating: cross cultural evidence

Principal Investigator(s):

Professor Diego Aycicena, Universidad del Rosario

Professor Benjamin Beranek, University of Nottingham

Professor Lucas Rentschler, Utah State University

Dr. Jonathan Schulz, Harvard University

Institutions, both formal and informal, are critical determinants of economic growth and development, and social norms are a fundamental underpinning of institutions. This project aims to understand the impact of underlying social norms regarding cheating behavior cross-culturally. It uses experimental methods to examine injunctive social norms (subjects’ shared beliefs regarding the social acceptability of behavior) and descriptive social norms (subjects’ beliefs on others’ behavior) across several countries, including India, Guatemala, Turkey, Sweden, and the UK. These countries vary considerably according to widely used macro-level indicators such as the Corruption Perception Index, Rule of Law Index, etc.

The project also classifies individuals according to the interpretation of their injunctive norms into different types of ethic systems. Initial analysis suggest that these countries differ in the degree of heterogeneity in injunctive social norms. The CESS Nuffield – FLAME University team completed the data collection for the India portion of this project in October, 2017.