Resentment and the Evolution of Social Norms Governing Cooperation

49 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2020 Last revised: 23 Feb 2020

See all articles by Xueheng Li

Xueheng Li

Economics Experimental Lab, Nanjing Audit University

Date Written: January 2, 2020

Abstract

Sociologists and psychologists have long emphasized that social emotions are essential to sustain social norms. We develop a model of social norms of cooperation resting on 'resentment' that abstracts from a set of social emotions. We study norm selection in a stochastic dynamic that keeps track of the belief system of the society. We show that cooperation is not higher in local interactions than in global interactions; there are positive correlations between mobility, community size, cooperation level, and punishment of defectors; and the norms supporting cooperation are complementary to law enforcement.

Keywords: Social norms, cooperation, costly punishment, stochastic dynamics, stochastic stability, psychological game

JEL Classification: C73, D63, H41

Suggested Citation

Li, Xueheng, Resentment and the Evolution of Social Norms Governing Cooperation (January 2, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3512872 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3512872

Xueheng Li (Contact Author)

Economics Experimental Lab, Nanjing Audit University ( email )

86 Yushan W Rd
Pukou, Jiangsu 210017
China

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