A Theory of Injunctive Norms

57 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2020

See all articles by Erik O. Kimbrough

Erik O. Kimbrough

Chapman University - The George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics

Alexander Vostroknutov

University of Trento

Date Written: March 30, 2020

Abstract

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

Kimbrough, Erik O. and Vostroknutov, Alexander, A Theory of Injunctive Norms (March 30, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3566589 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3566589

Erik O. Kimbrough (Contact Author)

Chapman University - The George L. Argyros School of Business & Economics ( email )

One University Dr
Orange, CA 92866
United States

Alexander Vostroknutov

University of Trento ( email )

Via Giuseppe Verdi 26
Trento, Trento 38152
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.vostroknutov.com

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