The Coordinating Power of Social Norms

Francesco Fallucchi, Daniele Nosenzo

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A popular empirical technique to measure norms uses coordination games to elicit what subjects in an experiment consider appropriate behavior in a given situation (Krupka and Weber, 2013). The Krupka-Weber method works under the assumption that subjects use their normative expectations to solve the coordination game. However, subjects might use alternative focal points to coordinate, in which case the method may deliver distorted measurements of the social norm. We test the vulnerability of the Krupka-Weber method to the presence of alternative salient focal points in two series of experiments with more than 3000 subjects. We find that the method is robust, especially when there are clear normative expectations about what constitutes appropriate behavior.
Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental Economics
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2021


  • Social norms
  • Krupka-Weber method
  • Coordination
  • Focal point
  • Saliency
  • Dictator game

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