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A Game-Theoretical Approach to the Formation of Ethical Norms


  • Machino, Kazuo


This essay shows the formation of the ethical-norms analytically by modeling them with a Bayesian game played by bounded-rational players. They are bounded-rational in the sense that they have limited memory. The players’ limited memory makes them forget other choices they had and think their relatively successful choice a convention. Deviation from it causes payoff decrease, thus, creates an incentive to penalize the deviator. Finally, reinforcement mechanism of repeating penalty makes the socially beneficial but personally costly convention an ethical norm.

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  • Machino, Kazuo, 2005. "A Game-Theoretical Approach to the Formation of Ethical Norms," Discussion paper series. A 157, Graduate School of Economics and Business Administration, Hokkaido University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hok:dpaper:157

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