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On Social Sanctions and Beliefs: A Pollution Norm Example

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  • Garcia, Jorge H.
  • Wei, Jiegen

Abstract

A prevailing view in the literature is that social sanctions can support, in equilibrium, high levels of obedience to a costly norm. The reason is that social disapproval and stigmatization faced by the disobedient are highest when disobedience is the exception rather than the rule in society. In contrast, the (Bayesian) model introduced here shows that imperfect information causes the expected social sanction to be lowest precisely when obedience is more common. This, amongst other fi?ndings, draws a distinct line between social and moral sanctions, both of which may depend on others' ?behavior but not on action observability.

Suggested Citation

  • Garcia, Jorge H. & Wei, Jiegen, 2013. "On Social Sanctions and Beliefs: A Pollution Norm Example," Discussion Papers dp-13-04-efd, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-13-04-efd
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    social interactions; social norms; asymmetric information;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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