SAFE Working Paper No. 412

Conform to the Norm. Peer Information and Sustainable Investments

We conduct a field experiment with clients of a German universal bank to explore the impact of peer information on sustainable retail investments. Our results show that infor-mation about peers’ inclination towards sustainable investing raises the amount allocated to stock funds labeled sustainable, when communicated during a buying decision. This effect is primarily driven by participants initially underestimating peers’ propensity to invest sustainably. Further, treated individuals indicate an increased interest in addi-tional information on sustainable investments, primarily on risk and return expectations. However, when analyzing account-level portfolio holding data over time, we detect no spillover effects of peer information on later sustainable investment decisions.