December 30, 2019, Paper, "We design an experiment where second-movers anonymously contribute to a charity after a ﬁrst mover’s contribution, and provide evidence that whether and how subjects follow ﬁrst-movers depends on situation-speciﬁc social expectations. Subjects who observe a ﬁrst-mover and know an audience will see their anonymous contribution respond positively to what their ﬁrst-mover contributes. Subjects who observe a ﬁrst-mover but have no audience respond positively what ﬁrst-movers are expected to contribute. Subjects who do not observe a ﬁrst-mover respond to what is expected in their situation. The evidence is inconsistent with standard explanations of following, such as information transmission, image concerns, reciprocity, or cost structure. We conclude that subjects follow if it is expected of them, and what they follow depends on whether someone might be disappointed with the outcome."
Non-HKS Author Website - Michael Hiscox