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The Esteem Theory of Norms

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  • Cowen, Tyler

Abstract

When esteem is costless to supply, does it provide an effective means of enforcing norms for public goods production? I examine the basic mechanics of an enforcement-through-esteem model. While esteem may enforce norms to considerable degree, systematic underenforcement remains the general result, even in very basic settings with a minimum of transactions costs. I also examine why esteem has positive value in equilibrium if it can be produced costlessly (i.e., why esteem remains scarce), and what collective action problems plague the supply of esteem. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Cowen, Tyler, 2002. "The Esteem Theory of Norms," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(1-2), pages 211-224, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:113:y:2002:i:1-2:p:211-24
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    Cited by:

    1. Raúl López-Pérez & Marc Vorsatz, 2012. "What Behaviors are Disapproved? Experimental Evidence from Five Dictator Games," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(2), pages 1-19, April.
    2. Geoffrey Brennan & Michael Brooks, 2007. "Esteem-based contributions and optimality in public goods supply," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 457-470, March.
    3. Dhammika Dharmapala & Richard H. McAdams, 2003. "Words that Kill? Economic Perspectives on Hate Speech and Hate Crimes," Working papers 2003-05, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    4. Makoto Kakinaka & Koji Kotani, 2011. "An interplay between intrinsic and extrinsic motivations on voluntary contributions to a public good in a large economy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 147(1), pages 29-41, April.
    5. Matthias Greiff, 2015. "Integrating Affective Responses into Game Theory: A Dual Selves Model," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201517, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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