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Preference Falsification, Policy Continuity and Collective Conservatism

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  • Kuran, Timur

Abstract

Through a model that distinguishes between privately-held and publicly-declared preferences, and between private and public beliefs, this paper explains why a society might c ling to its past choices. All four variables are endogenous to the mo del. Following the introduction of a measure of collective conservati sm, the paper turns to the determinants and consequences of feedback from society's choices to its members' private beliefs and preference s. The theory is applied to the persistence of India's caste system t o explain why the lowest castes have been among the system's most com mitted supporters. Copyright 1987 by Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Kuran, Timur, 1987. "Preference Falsification, Policy Continuity and Collective Conservatism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 642-665, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:97:y:1987:i:387:p:642-65
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    Cited by:

    1. Grier, Kevin & Sutter, Daniel, 2007. "External influences on economic reform: Reform as a regional public good," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 660-673, September.
    2. Greif, Avner & Tadelis, Steven, 2010. "A theory of moral persistence: Crypto-morality and political legitimacy," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 229-244, September.
    3. David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2002. "An Economic Approach to the Psychology of Change: Amnesia, Inertia, and Impulsiveness," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 379-421, September.
    4. Rubin, Jared, 2014. "Centralized institutions and cascades," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 340-357.
    5. Sethi, Rajiv, 1996. "Evolutionary stability and social norms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 113-140, January.
    6. Cordes, Christian, 2009. "Changing your role models: Social learning and the Engel curve," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 957-965, December.
    7. Shyam Gouri Suresh & Scott Jeffrey, 2017. "The Consequences of Social Pressures on Partisan Opinion Dynamics," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 43(2), pages 242-259, March.
    8. R. Aversi & G. Dosi & G. Fagiolo & M. Meacci & C. Olivetti, 1997. "Demand Dynamics With Socially Evolving Preferences," Working Papers ir97081, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
    9. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Martinsson, Peter, 2006. "Honestly, why are you driving a BMW?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 129-146, June.
    10. Bac, Mehmet, 2014. "Opinion expressions under social sanctions," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 58-71.
    11. Michael D. Makowsky & Jared Rubin, 2011. "An Agent-Based Model of Centralized Institutions, Social Network Technology, and Revolution," Working Papers 2011-05, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2011.
    12. Bell, Ann Maria, 2002. "Locally interdependent preferences in a general equilibrium environment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 309-333, March.
    13. Klick, Jonathan & Parisi, Francesco, 2008. "Social networks, self-denial, and median preferences: Conformity as an evolutionary strategy," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1319-1327, August.
    14. Twight, Charlotte, 1996. "Federal control over education: Crisis, deception, and institutional change," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 299-333, December.
    15. Carolina Castaldi & Giovanni Dosi, 2003. "The Grip of History and the Scope for Novelty: Some Results and Open Questions on Path Dependence in Economic Processes," LEM Papers Series 2003/02, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    16. Ulrich Witt, 1989. "The evolution of economic institutions as a propagation process," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(2), pages 155-172, August.
    17. Timur Kuran, 1989. "Sparks and prairie fires: A theory of unanticipated political revolution," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 41-74, April.
    18. Sutter, Daniel, 1999. "Discretionary policy implementation and reform," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 249-262, July.

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