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Naïve Beliefs and the Multiplicity of Social Norms

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  • Patel, Amrish

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

  • Cartwright, Edward

    (Department of Economics, University of Kent)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Patel, Amrish & Cartwright, Edward, 2011. "Naïve Beliefs and the Multiplicity of Social Norms," Working Papers in Economics 488, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0488
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    File URL: http://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/24532
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35.
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    9. 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, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nathan Berg & Jeong-Yoo Kim, 2016. "Harsh Norms And Screening For Loyalty," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 205-217, April.
    2. Nathan Berg & Jeong-Yoo Kim, 2013. "Prohibition of Riba and Gharar: A signaling and screening explanation?," Working Papers 1314, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2013.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Signalling; Conformity; Social Norms; Naïve Beliefs;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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