CREB - Center for Research in Economics and Business

Law in the Books: Experimentally Testing the Power of Social Norms to Invalidate the Law: In-lab and lab-in-field experiments Pakistan

Project members:
Shaheen Rana, Lahore School of Economics
Christoph Engel, Bonn University, Germany
Klaus Heine, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

This research is funded by the Max Planck Institute Bonn, Germany. The present study investigates a conflict between social norms and the law of the land in inheritance in Pakistan. We contribute to this literature by translating a conflict between law and social norms into a fully controlled experiment. Are those disfavored by the social norm nonetheless willing to follow it? Do those favored by the norm demand that it be obeyed? Are those favored by the norm willing to engage in costly punishment if the norm is violated? And are those disfavored willing to punish if they are asked to follow the norm? Do those favored, or disfavored for that matter, anticipate punishment and are disciplined.