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Conformity and out of equilibrium beliefs

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  • Cartwright, Edward

Abstract

We analyze a model of conformity with contrasting inferences. Given a form of 'strong inferences', any non-conforming agent is believed to have 'extreme preferences' and can expect to receive low esteem. With a weaker form of inferences, a non-conforming agent could be inferred to have 'average preferences' and can expect a smaller fall in esteem. We find that the type of inferences need not influence whether a conformist equilibrium exists. It will, however, impact on the size of the set of conformist equilibria and thus weakening inferences acts as an equilibrium selection device.

Suggested Citation

  • Cartwright, Edward, 2009. "Conformity and out of equilibrium beliefs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 164-185, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:70:y:2009:i:1-2:p:164-185
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    1. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35.
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    3. George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-775.
    4. Azar, Ofer H., 2004. "What sustains social norms and how they evolve?: The case of tipping," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 49-64, May.
    5. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221.
    6. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
    7. Banks, Jeffrey S & Sobel, Joel, 1987. "Equilibrium Selection in Signaling Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 647-661, May.
    8. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-877, October.
    9. Kreps, David M, 1997. "Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 359-364, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Amrish Patel & Edward Cartwright, 2012. "Naïve Beliefs and the Multiplicity of Social Norms," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 168(2), pages 280-289, June.
    2. Edward Cartwright & Amrish Patel, 2010. "Public Goods, Social Norms, and Naïve Beliefs," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(2), pages 199-223, April.
    3. Amrish Patel & Edward Cartwright, 2009. "Social Norms and Naive Beliefs," Studies in Economics 0906, School of Economics, University of Kent.

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