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Endogenous Norm Formation Over the Life Cycle – The Case of Tax Evasion

  • Nordblom, Katarina


    (Department of Economics)

  • Zamac, Jovan


    (Department of Economics)

This paper offers an explanation to why the general observation that elderly hold stronger moral attitudes than young ones may be an age rather than a cohort effect. We apply mechanisms from social psychology to explain how personal norms may evolve over the life cycle. We assume that people update their norms influenced by their own past behavior (e.g., cognitive dissonance) and/or by the attitudes of their peers (normative conformity). We apply the theory on actual norm distributions for young and old concerning tax evasion. Allowing for heterogeneous updating of norms where only those who identify with their network are actually conforming with it, while the others are only influenced by their own past behavior, we can explain the difference between young and old people’s moral values as an age effect through endogenous norm formation.

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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2011:13.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 30 Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2011_013
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
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