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The Distribution of Revealed Preferences under Social Pressure

Author

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  • Moti Michaeli
  • Daniel Spiro

Abstract

This paper studies theoretically the aggregate distribution of revealed preferences when heterogeneous individuals make the trade o? between being true to their real opinions and conforming to a social norm. We show that in orthodox societies, individuals will tend to either conform fully or ignore the social norm while individuals in liberal societies will tend to compromise between the two extremes. The model sheds light on phenomena such as polarization, alienation and hypocrisy. We also show that societies with orthodox individuals will be liberal on aggregate unless the social norm is upheld by an authority. This suggests that orthodoxy cannot be maintained under pluralism.

Suggested Citation

  • Moti Michaeli & Daniel Spiro, 2012. "The Distribution of Revealed Preferences under Social Pressure," Discussion Paper Series dp609, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  • Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp609
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    File URL: http://ratio.huji.ac.il/sites/default/files/publications/dp609.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörgen W. Weibull, 2003. "Social Norms and Welfare State Dynamics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 533-542, 04/05.
    2. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1982. "Tariff Protection and Imperfect Competition," Working Paper 517, Economics Department, Queen's University.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michaeli, Moti & Spiro, Daniel, 2013. "The Distribution of Individual Conformity under Social Pressure across Societies," Memorandum 12/2014, Oslo University, Department of Economics.

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