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Introducing Social Norms in Game Theory


  • Ra�l L�pez-P�rez


This paper explicitly introduces norms in games, assuming that they shape (some) players� utility and beliefs. People feel badly when they deviate from a binding norm, and the less other players deviate, the more badly they feel. Further, people anger at transgressors and get pleasure from punishing them. I then study how social norms and emotions affect cooperation, coordination, and punishment in a variety of games. The model is consistent with abundant experimental evidence that alternative models of social preferences cannot explain.

Suggested Citation

  • Ra�l L�pez-P�rez, 2006. "Introducing Social Norms in Game Theory," IEW - Working Papers 292, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:292

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus Schmidt, 2000. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity – Evidence and Economic Applications," CESifo Working Paper Series 403, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    3. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869.
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    More about this item


    Cooperation; Emotions; Focal Points; Punishment; Reciprocity; Social Norms;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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