A Theory of Injunctive Norms
57 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2020
Date Written: March 30, 2020
Theories of norm-dependent utility assume commonly known injunctive norms that rank feasible outcomes by their normative valence, but as yet normative valences have only been measured experimentally. We provide a theoretical foundation that assigns a normative valence to each outcome based on players' dissatisfactions, which depend on the higher utilities that they could have received at other outcomes. The normatively best outcome is the one that minimizes aggregated dissatisfaction. Our model imposes structure on theories of norm-driven behavior, rendering them precise and falsifiable. We consider a variety of illustrative applications, highlighting the intuition and explanatory power of the model.
Keywords: norms, experiments, social preferences, punishment
JEL Classification: C9, D9
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation