Coordination and Culture
AbstractCulture constrains individual choice by making certain behaviour taboo.� We propose an evolutionary model in which members of different groups attempt to coordinate over time.� We show that cultural constraints can lead to a permanent break down in coordination between groups, even when coordination is attainable and Pareto-efficient.� Hence restrictive cultures make coordination with out-group members more difficult.� By limiting a person's options, however, highly restrictive cultures act as a strategic commitment, forcing out-group members to conform to in-group norms if they want to coordinate.� In this way, cultural constraints on behaviour may lead to higher expected welfare.� When people rationally choose their culture, we demonstrate that restrictive and permissive cultures can co-exist in the long run.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 489.
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Coordinatin games; Culture; Taboos; Commitments; Cultural evolution;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
- C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
- Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-07-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-CUL-2010-07-03 (Cultural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2010-07-03 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-GTH-2010-07-03 (Game Theory)
- NEP-SOC-2010-07-03 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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