Peer pressure and externalities: Evidence from a field experiment

Produced by: 
Universidad de San Andrés
Available from: 
December 2015
Paper author(s): 
Bruno Cardinale Lagomarsino, Matías Gutman, Lucía Freira, María Laura Lanzalot, Maximiliano Lauletta, Leandro E. Malchik, Felipe Montaño Campos, Bianca Pacini, Martín A. Rossi & Christian Valencia
Topic: 
Education - Health
Year: 
2016

We provide experimental evidence on the effect of peer pressure on activities with externalities. Specifically, we study the effect of being exposed to an observer in a public restroom on hand-washing behavior. Our estimates show that being exposed to an observer increases the probability of hand-washing in 13 percentage points. We also observe urinal flushing behavior, with similar results. We find empirical support that peer pressure may provide an additional way of solving the social suboptimality arising from externalities.

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Research section: 
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