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On the Notion of Social Institutions


  • Guilherme Carmona


We argue that it is natural to study social institutions within the framework of standard game theory (i.e., only by resorting to concepts like players, actions, strategies, information sets, payoff functions, and stochastic processes describing the moves of nature, which constitute a stochastic game when combined) --- concepts like ``social norms,'' and ``mechanisms'' can be easily accommodated, as well as philosophical/sociological definitions of social institutions Focusing on strategies rather than on mechanisms have two advantages: First, focusing on strategies allows us to distinguish between those aspects that are behavioral in nature and are subject to alternative design, and those that are part of the environment. Second, considering strategies allows for a more detailed look into the way an outcome function is ``genuinely implemented'' (see Hurwicz (1996)).

Suggested Citation

  • Guilherme Carmona, 2004. "On the Notion of Social Institutions," Game Theory and Information 0402005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0402005
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on winxp; to print on general; pages: 15; figures: 0. none

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Okuno-Fujiwara Masahiro & Postlewaite Andrew, 1995. "Social Norms and Random Matching Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 79-109, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guilherme Carmona, 2006. "A Strong Anti-Folk Theorem," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 34(1), pages 131-151, April.
    2. Guilherme Carmona, 2003. "A re-interpretation of the concept of nash equilibrium based on the notion of social institutions," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp425, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
    3. Guilherme Carmona, 2003. "A Re-Interpretation of Nash Equilibrium Based on the Notion of Social Institutions," Game Theory and Information 0311005, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Social institutions; mechanism design;

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games

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