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Moral Norms in a Partly Compliant Society

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  • Sebastian Kranz

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Abstract

This paper analyses competition of moral norms and institutions in a society where a fixed share of people unconditionally complies with norms and the remaining people act selfishly. Whether a person is a norm-complier or selfish is private knowledge. A model of voting-by-feet shows that those norms and institutions arise that maximize expected utility of norm-compliers, taken into account selfish players' behavior. Such complier optimal norms lead to a simple behavioral model that, when combined with preferences for equitable outcomes, is in line with the relevant stylized facts from a wide range of economic experiments, like reciprocal behavior, costly punishment, the role of intentions, giving in dictator games and concerns for social efficiency. The paper contributes to the literature on voting-by-feet, institutional design, ethics and social preferences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Bonn Econ Discussion Papers with number bgse11_2006.

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Length: 40
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision: Jun 2006
Handle: RePEc:bon:bonedp:bgse11_2006

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Web page: http://www.bgse.uni-bonn.de

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Keywords: moral norms; social preferences; fairness; reciprocity; rule utilitarianism; voting-by-feet; farsighted-stability; cultural evolution; golden rule; social norms;

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Cited by:
  1. Blanco, Mariana & Engelmann, Dirk & Koch, Alexander K. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2014. "Preferences and beliefs in a sequential social dilemma: A within-subjects analysis," DICE Discussion Papers 145, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  2. Topi Miettinen, 2006. "Promises and Conventions - An Approach to Pre-play Agreements," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-29, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.

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