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Social norms or social preferences?

  • Ken Binmore

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    Some behavioral economists argue that the honoring of social norms can be adequately modeled as the optimization of social utility functions in which the welfare of others appears as an explicit argument. This paper suggests that the large experimental claims made for social utility functions are premature at best, and that social norms are better studied as equilibrium selection devices that evolved for use in games that are seldom studied in economics laboratories. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2010

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11299-010-0073-2
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    Article provided by Springer & Fondazione Rosselli in its journal Mind & Society.

    Volume (Year): 9 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (December)
    Pages: 139-157

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:minsoc:v:9:y:2010:i:2:p:139-157
    DOI: 10.1007/s11299-010-0073-2
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    Web page: http://www.fondazionerosselli.it
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    1. Eckel, Catherine & Gintis, Herbert, 2010. "Blaming the messenger: Notes on the current state of experimental economics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 109-119, January.
    2. Harless, David W & Camerer, Colin F, 1994. "The Predictive Utility of Generalized Expected Utility Theories," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1251-89, November.
    3. Steffen Andersen & Seda Ertac & Uri Gneezy & Moshe Hoffman & John List, 2011. "Stakes matter in ultimatum games," Framed Field Experiments 00118, The Field Experiments Website.
    4. Hey, John D & Orme, Chris, 1994. "Investigating Generalizations of Expected Utility Theory Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1291-1326, November.
    5. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," IEW - Working Papers 010, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    6. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
    7. Henrich, Joseph & Boyd, Robert & Bowles, Samuel & Camerer, Colin & Fehr, Ernst & Gintis, Herbert (ed.), 2004. "Foundations of Human Sociality: Economic Experiments and Ethnographic Evidence from Fifteen Small-Scale Societies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199262052, December.
    8. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
    9. Gale, John & Binmore, Kenneth G. & Samuelson, Larry, 1995. "Learning to be imperfect: The ultimatum game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 56-90.
    10. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
    11. Binmore, Ken, 2005. "Natural Justice," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195178111, December.
    12. David Cooper & E. Dutcher, 2011. "The dynamics of responder behavior in ultimatum games: a meta-study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(4), pages 519-546, November.
    13. Ken Binmore, 2007. "Does Game Theory Work? The Bargaining Challenge," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262026074, March.
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