IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hhs/iiessp/0622.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Incentives and Social Norms in Household Behavior

Author

Listed:
  • Lindbeck, Assar

    (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

Abstract

In a broad psychological perspective, both economic incentives and social norms may be be regarded as giving rise to purposesful, or “rational” behavior. By this I simply mean that individuals act in accordance with expected reward or punishment, even though the form these take differs substantially in the two cases. Whereas economic incentives imply “material rewards”, or favors that can be traded for such rewards including leisure, social norms imply “social rewards”. The latter basically take the form of approval or disapproval from others, and related feelings of pride or shame. Moreover, once a social norm has been internalized in an individual’s own value system, behavior in accordance with, or against, the norm will also result in feelings of self-respect or guilt. All this suggests that not only economic incentives but also social norms may be analyzed by means of utility theory, as will be illustrated below. Many social norms may not have much to do with economic incentives (Elster,1989). In some cases, it is, however, useful to study the interaction between them. Indeed, this is the basic message of the paper. My discussion will be limited to three norms of apparent importance for household behavior: (i) work norms; (ii) norms against wage underbidding; and (iii) saving and consumption norms. Thus, the paper deals with norms concerning willingness to work, ability to get a job and the use of income.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindbeck, Assar, 1997. "Incentives and Social Norms in Household Behavior," Seminar Papers 622, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iiessp:0622
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://su.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:327516/FULLTEXT01
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alessie, Rob & Kapteyn, Arie, 1991. "Habit Formation, Interdependent References and Demographic Effects in the Almost Ideal Demand System," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(406), pages 404-419, May.
    2. Pollak, Robert A, 1976. "Interdependent Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 309-320, June.
    3. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-877, October.
    4. Lindbeck, A., 1994. "Welfare State Disincentives with Endogenous Habits and Norms," Papers 589, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
    5. Lindbeck, Assar, 1995. " Welfare State Disincentives with Endogenous Habits and Norms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 477-494, December.
    6. George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-775.
    7. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-493, May.
    8. Kapteyn, Arie & Wansbeek, Tom, 1982. "Empirical evidence on preference formation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 137-154, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Fehr, Ernst & Falk, Armin, 2002. "Psychological foundations of incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 687-724, May.
    2. Edward J. Bird, "undated". "Welfare Policy and Endogenous Selective Norms," Wallis Working Papers WP11, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
    3. Cartwright, Edward, 2009. "Social norms: Does it matter whether agents are rational or boundedly rational?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 403-410, June.
    4. Fahr, René, 2006. "The Wage Effects of Social Norms: Evidence of Deviations from Peers’ Body-Mass in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 2323, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Drakopoulos, Stavros A., 2007. "Comparison Wage in Trade Union Decision Making," MPRA Paper 46287, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Clark, Andrew E. & Loheac, Youenn, 2007. ""It wasn't me, it was them!" Social influence in risky behavior by adolescents," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 763-784, July.
    7. Nordblom, Katarina & Zamac, Jovan, 2011. "Endogenous Norm Formation Over the Life Cycle – The Case of Tax Evasion," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2011:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    8. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 115-136, Summer.
    9. Tolciu, Andreia, 2008. "Is unemployment a consequence of social interactions? Seeking for a common research framework for economists and other social scientists," HWWI Research Papers 1-15, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    10. Nyborg, Karine & Rege, Mari, 2003. "On social norms: the evolution of considerate smoking behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 323-340, November.
    11. Edward J. Bird, "undated". "Social Norms, Cultural Competition, and Welfare Reform: Scant Hope for the Collapsing Family," Wallis Working Papers WP7, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
    12. Dohmen, Thomas, 2014. "Behavioral labor economics: Advances and future directions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 71-85.
    13. Eddy Cardinaels & Yuping Jia, 2016. "How Audits Moderate the Effects of Incentives and Peer Behavior on Misreporting," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 183-204, May.
    14. Charles F. Manski, 1996. "Identification of Anonymous Endogenous Interactions," Working Papers 96-04-019, Santa Fe Institute.
    15. Chen, Yan & Lu, Fangwen & Zhang, Jinan, 2017. "Social comparisons, status and driving behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 11-20.
    16. Thomas Aronsson & Tomas Sjögren, 2010. "Optimal income taxation and social norms in the labor market," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 17(1), pages 67-89, February.
    17. Binder, Michael & Pesaran, M. Hashem, 2001. "Life-cycle consumption under social interactions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 35-83, January.
    18. Lindbeck, A & Nyberg, S & Weibull, J-W, 1996. "Social Norms, the Welfare State, and Voting," Papers 608, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
    19. Thomas J. Nechyba, 2001. "Social Approval, Values, and AFDC: A Reexamination of the Illegitimacy Debate," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 637-666, June.
    20. Vendrik, Maarten C. M., 2003. "Dynamics of a household norm in female labour supply," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 823-841, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social Norms; Incentives; Employment; Saving; Consumption;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:iiessp:0622. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/iiesuse.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Hanna Christiansson (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/iiesuse.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.