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On the Regulation of Social Norms

  • Kubler, Dorothea

A model is developed to understand how norms can be influenced by "norm entrepreneurs," for example, lawmakers, government agencies, unions, etc. Two instruments of influencing the dynamics of norm-following behavior are analyzed, namely transforming the (monetary) incentives and changing the meaning or the reputational value of following a norm. Both forms of norm regulation are incorporated into Akerlof's model of social custom (1980), and the comparative static properties of norm destruction and norm creation for different types of norms are derived. In particular, it is shown how norms should be regulated when almost everybody follows them and when they take the form of bandwagon and snob norms. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Law, Economics and Organization.

Volume (Year): 17 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 449-76

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:17:y:2001:i:2:p:449-76
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  1. Basu, Kaushik & Jones, Eric & Schlicht, Ekkehart, 1987. "The Growth and Decay of Custom: The Role of the New Institutional Economics in Economic History," Munich Reprints in Economics 3328, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. de Neubourg, Chris & Vendrik, Maarten, 1994. "An extended rationality model of social norms in labour supply," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 93-126, March.
  3. Schlicht, Ekkehart, 1998. "On Custom in the Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292241, March.
  4. Huck, Steffen, 1998. "Trust, Treason, and Trials: An Example of How the Evolution of Preferences Can Be Driven by Legal Institutions," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(1), pages 44-60, April.
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