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Naïve Beliefs and the Multiplicity of Social Norms

  • Patel, Amrish


    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Cartwright, Edward


    (Department of Economics, University of Kent)

In a signalling model of conformity, we demonstrate that naïve observers, those that take actions at face value, constrain the set of actions that can possibly be social norms. With rational observers many actions can be norms, but with naïve observers only actions close to that preferred by the ideal type can be norms. We suggest, therefore, that the naïvety or inexperience of observers is an important determinant of norms and how they evolve.

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Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 488.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: 18 Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0488
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
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  1. Eyster, Erik & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Cursed Equilibrium," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7p2911dn, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Ofer Haim Azar, 2006. "Evolution Of Social Norms With Heterogeneous Preferences: A General Model And An Application To The Academic Review Process," Working Papers 0602, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  3. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:3:p:869-905 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Edward Cartwright, 2009. "Conformity and out of equilibrium beliefs," Post-Print hal-00688187, HAL.
  5. Ofer H. Azar, 2003. "What sustains social norms and how they evolve? The case of tipping," Others 0309001, EconWPA.
  6. David Cooper & John Kagel, 2008. "Learning and transfer in signaling games," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 415-439, March.
  7. Philippe Jehiel, 2005. "Analogy-Based Expectation Equilibrium," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000106, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Edward Cartwright & Amrish Patel, 2010. "Public Goods, Social Norms, and Naïve Beliefs," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(2), pages 199-223, 04.
  9. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:102:y:1987:i:2:p:179-221 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1997. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," Working Paper Series 476, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  11. In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1997. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," Levine's Working Paper Archive 896, David K. Levine.
  12. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
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