Schlüter, Achim ORCID: and Vollan, Björn (2015) Flowers and an honour box: Evidence on framing effects. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 57 . pp. 186-199. DOI

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This paper analyses the behaviour of customers in a flower field, where payment is made into an honour box. There is a price indicated for the flowers. However, as no monitoring takes place and the farmer has never enforced formal law, people can decide how much they want to pay. If people were to make a narrow rational choice, they would simply take the unsupervised flowers without paying and the market would collapse. However, payments were and are in general high enough to make considerable profits. The business is flourishing. In the experiment, we left several different messages next to the cashbox to influence payments. Legal threats and moral appeals were studied in similar field settings with mixed results. We hypothesize that legal threats and moral appeals are less important than the context in which people make their decision. Once we indicated that the flower field belonged to a family, turnover and payment rate per customer increased substantially. We also observed a switch to fewer but more expensive flowers. However, no significant results were obtained for other treatments: consulting framing, moral appeal and legal threats. The results show that to understand the market success of a business, we have to investigate the expectations and opinions which people associate with the specific business context.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Social Sciences > Institutional and Behavioural Economics
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
ISSN: 22148043
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2019 12:45
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2024 13:29

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