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The evolution of social norms

Author

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  • Ivar Kolstad

Abstract

Evolutionary game theory provides the tools to analyze which strategies, or patterns of behaviour, emerge over time through a process of adaptation. Social norms can be defined as patterns of behaviour with certain characteristics. Evolutionary game theory thus provides one perspective on how social norms are formed and maintained. Prisoner's dilemma games can be used to study the conditions under which cooperative norms emerge. Bargaining games can be used to address the formation of fairness norms. However, being more congenial to analyzing norms that somehow focus on material payoffs, it is not a given that evolutionary game theory can adequately address norms focusing on rights or virtues.

Suggested Citation

  • Ivar Kolstad, 2003. "The evolution of social norms," CMI Working Papers WP 2003:1, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
  • Handle: RePEc:chm:wpaper:wp2003-1
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    File URL: https://www.cmi.no/publications/file/1552-the-evolution-of-social-norms.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Espen Villanger, 2003. "Company interests and foreign aid policy: Playing donors out against each other," CMI Working Papers WP 2003:5, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    2. Urs Steiner Brandt, 2008. "What can facilitate cooperation: Fairness, ineaulity aversion, punishment, norms or trust?," Working Papers 80/08, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics.
    3. Espen Villanger, 2004. "Company Influence on Foreign Aid Disbursement: Is Conditionality Credible when Donors Have Mixed Motives?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 334-351, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Evolutionary game theory Social norms;

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games

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