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A theory of tolerance

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  • Corneo, Giacomo
  • Jeanne, Olivier

Abstract

We develop an economic theory of tolerance where endogenous lifestyles and exogenous traits are invested with symbolic value by people. Value systems are rationally chosen by parents for their children. In conjunction with actual behavior, value systems determine the esteem enjoyed by individuals. Intolerant individuals attach all symbolic value to a small number of attributes and are irrespectful of people with di¤erent ones. Tolerant people have diversi ed values and respect social alterity. We study the formation of values attached to various types of attributes and identify circumstances under which tolerance spontaneously arises. Policy may a¤ect the evolution of tolerance in distinctive ways, and there may be efficiency as well as equity reasons to promote tolerance. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2007/13.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:200713

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Keywords: value systems; tolerance;

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References

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  1. Frank, Robert H, 1987. "If Homo Economicus Could Choose His Own Utility Function, Would He Want One with a Conscience?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 593-604, September.
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  3. Kjell Arne Brekke & Snorre Kverndokk & Karinen Nyborg, 2000. "An Economic Model of Moral Motivation," Discussion Papers, Research Department of Statistics Norway 290, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
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  8. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Renault, Régis, 2007. "Status and Incentives," IDEI Working Papers, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse 451, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  9. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond The Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, And The Evolution Of Ethnic And Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988, August.
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  11. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2006. "'Bend It Like Beckham': Identity, Socialization and Assimilation," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5662, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  13. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299, November.
  14. Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
  15. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  16. Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 2007. "Moral Rules, the Moral Sentiments, and Behavior: Toward a Theory of an Optimal Moral System," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 494-514.
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