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Naïve Beliefs and the Multiplicity of Social Norms

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  • Amrish Patel
  • Edward Cartwright

Abstract

In a signalling model of conformity, we demonstrate that naïve observers, those that take actions at face value, constrain the set of actions that can possibly be social norms. With rational observers many actions can be norms, but with naïve observers only actions close to that preferred by the ideal type can be norms. We suggest, therefore, that the naïvety or inexperience of observers is an important determinant of norms and how they evolve.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 168 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 280-289

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(201206)168:2_280:nbatmo_2.0.tx_2-o

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  1. Cartwright, Edward, 2009. "Conformity and out of equilibrium beliefs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 164-185, May.
  2. Azar, Ofer H., 2004. "What sustains social norms and how they evolve?: The case of tipping," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 49-64, May.
  3. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  4. Azar, Ofer H., 2002. "Evolution of social norms with heterogeneous preferences: A general model and an application to the academic review process," MPRA Paper 4482, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Jehiel, Philippe, 2005. "Analogy-based expectation equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 81-104, August.
  6. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jšrgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms And Economic Incentives In The Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35, February.
  7. Eyster, Erik & Rabin, Matt, 2002. "Cursed Equilibrium," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6xf4782t, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. David Cooper & John Kagel, 2008. "Learning and transfer in signaling games," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 415-439, March.
  9. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
  10. Christophe Chamley, 1999. "Coordinating Regime Switches," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 869-905, August.
  11. Edward Cartwright & Amrish Patel, 2010. "Public Goods, Social Norms, and Naïve Beliefs," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(2), pages 199-223, 04.
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Cited by:
  1. Nathan Berg & Jeong-Yoo Kim, 2013. "Prohibition of Riba and Gharar: A signaling and screening explanation?," Working Papers 1314, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2013.

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