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On the Regulation of Social Norms

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  • Kubler, Dorothea

Abstract

A model is developed to understand how norms can be influenced by "norm entrepreneurs," for example, lawmakers, government agencies, unions, etc. Two instruments of influencing the dynamics of norm-following behavior are analyzed, namely transforming the (monetary) incentives and changing the meaning or the reputational value of following a norm. Both forms of norm regulation are incorporated into Akerlof's model of social custom (1980), and the comparative static properties of norm destruction and norm creation for different types of norms are derived. In particular, it is shown how norms should be regulated when almost everybody follows them and when they take the form of bandwagon and snob norms. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Law, Economics and Organization.

Volume (Year): 17 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 449-76

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:17:y:2001:i:2:p:449-76

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References

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  1. Basu, Kaushik & Jones, Eric & Schlicht, Ekkehart, 1987. "The Growth and Decay of Custom: The Role of the New Institutional Economics in Economic History," Munich Reprints in Economics 3328, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Huck, Steffen, 1998. "Trust, Treason, and Trials: An Example of How the Evolution of Preferences Can Be Driven by Legal Institutions," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 44-60, April.
  3. Schlicht, Ekkehart, 1998. "On Custom in the Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292241.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Huck, Steffen & Kübler, Dorothea & Weibull, Jörgen, 2012. "Social norms and economic incentives in firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 173-185.
  2. Garcia, Jorge H. & Wei, Jiegen, 2013. "On Social Sanctions and Beliefs: A Pollution Norm Example," Discussion Papers dp-13-04-efd, Resources For the Future.
  3. Fehr, Ernst & Falk, Armin, 2002. "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," IZA Discussion Papers 507, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Muehlheusser, Gerd & Roider, Andreas, 2004. "Black Sheep and Walls of Silence," IZA Discussion Papers 1171, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Schnellenbach, Jan, 2012. "Nudges and norms: On the political economy of soft paternalism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 266-277.
  6. Julia Sophie Woersdorfer, 2008. "From Status-Seeking Consumption to Social Norms. An Application to the Consumption of Cleanliness," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2008-10, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
  7. João Amaro de Matos & Pedro Barros, 2004. "Social Norms and the Paradox of Elections’ Turnout," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 121(1), pages 239-255, October.
  8. Benjamin Foster, 2011. "Norms and Costs of Government Domestic Violence Policies: A Critical Review," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 140-151, March.
  9. Danilov, Anastasia & Sliwka, Dirk, 2013. "Can Contracts Signal Social Norms? Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 7477, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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