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Norm conformity across societies

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  • Michaeli, Moti
  • Spiro, Daniel

Abstract

This paper studies the aggregate distribution of declared opinions and behavior when heterogeneous individuals make the trade-off between being true to their private opinions and conforming to a social norm. The model sheds light on how various sanctioning regimes induce conformity and by whom, and on phenomena such as societal polarization and unimodal concentration. In strict societies, individuals will tend to either fully conform to the social norm or totally ignore it, while individuals in liberal societies will tend to compromise between these two extremes. Furthermore, the degree of strictness determines whether those who nearly agree with the norm or those who strongly disagree with it will conform. The degree of liberalism similarly determines which individuals will compromise the most. A number of empirical predictions, and several methods of how to test them, are suggested.

Suggested Citation

  • Michaeli, Moti & Spiro, Daniel, 2015. "Norm conformity across societies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 51-65.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:132:y:2015:i:c:p:51-65
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2015.09.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bernado Moreno & María del Pino Ramos-Sosa & Ismael Rodríguez-Lara, 2016. "Conformity, information and truthful voting," Working Papers 2016-01, Universidad de Málaga, Department of Economic Theory, Málaga Economic Theory Research Center.
    2. Daniel Spiro, 2019. "Multigenerational Transmission of Culture," CESifo Working Paper Series 7507, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Moti Michaeli & Daniel Spiro, "undated". "The dynamics of revolutions," Working Papers WP2017/8, University of Haifa, Department of Economics.
    4. Nordblom, Katarina, 2017. "Tax Morale and Policy Intervention," Working Papers in Economics 711, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    5. Bernardo Moreno & María del Pino Ramos-Sosa & Ismael Rodriguez-Lara, 2019. "Conformity and truthful voting under different voting rules," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 53(2), pages 261-282, August.
    6. repec:eee:jetheo:v:174:y:2018:i:c:p:300-323 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Moti Michaeli & Daniel Spiro, 2017. "From Peer Pressure to Biased Norms," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 152-216, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social pressure; Conformity; Liberal; Strict;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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