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On the Emergence of Social Norms

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  • Edward Cartwright

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Abstract

We consider a model of conformity that permits a non-conformist equilibrium and multiple conformist equilibria. Agents are assumed to behave according to a best reply learning dynamic. We details the conditions under which a social norm and conformity emerge. The emergence of conformity depends on the distribution of intrinsic preferences, the relative costs and benefits of conformity and the topology of agent interaction.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward Cartwright, 2007. "On the Emergence of Social Norms," Studies in Economics 0704, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  • Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:0704
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35.
    2. Ochs, Jack & Park, In-Uck, 2010. "Overcoming the coordination problem: Dynamic formation of networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 689-720, March.
    3. Wooders, Myrna & Cartwright, Edward & Selten, Reinhard, 2006. "Behavioral conformity in games with many players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 347-360, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
    6. Azar, Ofer H., 2004. "What sustains social norms and how they evolve?: The case of tipping," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 49-64, May.
    7. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
    8. Lindbeck, Assar, 1997. "Incentives and Social Norms in Household Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 370-377, May.
    9. Juang, Wei-Torng, 2001. "Learning from Popularity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(3), pages 735-747, May.
    10. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
    11. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-877, October.
    12. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1998. "The Theory of Learning in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061945, January.
    13. Kreps, David M, 1997. "Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 359-364, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social norms; conformity; best reply;

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

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