Evolution of social norms with heterogeneous preferences: A general model and an application to the academic review process
The article presents a model of social norm evolution that suggests how the increase in optimal and actual first response times (FRT) of economics journals can be related. When the optimal FRT and the norm about how much time refereeing should take increase, it seems that the existence of a norm increases the average refereeing time. The model suggests the surprising result that this is not necessarily true. I also discuss applications of the model in other contexts, differences in the optimal FRT between disciplines, the effects of the FRT on the tenure process, and strategic behavior of referees.
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