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A theory of norm compliance: Punishment and reputation

  • Teraji, Shinji

Why do not social norms simply collapse from the violation? This paper analyzes two distinct mechanisms on norm compliance: punishment and reputation. The model considers two groups of agents in a society with one norm. Agents in one group choose whether to comply with the norm, while agents in the other group potentially punish opponents who violate the norm. The paper investigates two scenarios to account for the long-run stability of the norm. In one scenario, the norm is enforced due to a higher level of punishment of the violation. In another scenario, everyone is motivated due to reputation formation, despite a lower level of punishment by others. The interaction of two mechanisms provides a convenient way to norm compliance.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 44 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 1-6

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:44:y:2013:i:c:p:1-6
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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  1. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2004. "Third-party punishment and social norms," Experimental 0409002, EconWPA.
  2. James Andreoni & B. Douglas Bernheim, 2009. "Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1607-1636, 09.
  3. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, 1999. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 183, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Tirole, J., 1993. "A Theory of Collective Reputations with Applications to the Persistence of Corruption and to Firm Quality," Working papers 93-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. repec:att:wimass:9309 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Dirk Engelmann & Urs Fischbacher, 2008. "Indirect Reciprocity and Strategic Reputation Building in an Experimental Helping Game," TWI Research Paper Series 34, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  7. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
  8. Matthew Rabin., 1992. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Economics Working Papers 92-199, University of California at Berkeley.
  9. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. George A. Akerlof, 1978. "A theory of social custom, of which unemployment may be one consequence," Special Studies Papers 118, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Dirk Sliwka, 2007. "Trust as a Signal of a Social Norm and the Hidden Costs of Incentive Schemes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 999-1012, June.
  12. Naylor, Robin, 1987. "Strikes, Free Riders and Social Customs," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 275, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  13. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1999. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," NBER Working Papers 6993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
  15. Teraji, Shinji, 2007. "Morale and the evolution of norms," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 48-57, February.
  16. Posner, Richard A, 1997. "Social Norms and the Law: An Economic Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 365-69, May.
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