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On the Emergence of Social Conformity

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  • Edward Cartwright

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Abstract

We consider a dynamic model of conformity that permits both a conformist and a non-conformist equilibrium. We provide conditions under which conformity can 'invade' a population. More precisely, starting from a non-conformist equilibrium, we show that the conformity of an arbitrarily small proportion of the popultion can lead to the spread of conformism and the ultimate emergence of the conformist equilibrium. This occurs independently of whether or not the non-conformist equilibrium Pareto dominates the conformist equilibrium.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.ukc.ac.uk/pub/ejr/RePEc/ukc/ukcedp/0501.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Kent in its series Studies in Economics with number 0501.

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Date of creation: Jan 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:0501

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Postal: Department of Economics, University of Kent at Canterbury, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP
Phone: +44 (0)1227 764000
Fax: +44 (0)1227 827850
Web page: http://www.ukc.ac.uk/economics/

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Related research

Keywords: Conformity; best reply; coordination; norm.;

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References

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  1. Juang, Wei-Torng, 2001. "Learning from Popularity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(3), pages 735-47, May.
  2. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1998. "Learning in Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2222, David K. Levine.
  3. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
  4. George A. Akerlof, 1978. "A theory of social custom, of which unemployment may be one consequence," Special Studies Papers 118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
  6. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
  7. Shiller, Robert J, 1995. "Conversation, Information, and Herd Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 181-85, May.
  8. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  9. Jon Elster, 1998. "Emotions and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 47-74, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Daniel S Hamermesh & Michael C Burda & Philippe Weil, 2008. "Different but Equal: Total Work, Gender and Social Norms in EU and US Time Use," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/8642, Sciences Po.

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