What Sustains Social Norms and How They Evolve? The Case of Tipping

39 Pages Posted: 22 May 2003

See all articles by Ofer H. Azar

Ofer H. Azar

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management

Date Written: April 2003

Abstract

The paper presents a model of the evolution of social norms. When a norm is costly to follow and people do not derive benefits from following it except for avoiding social disapproval, the norm erodes over time. Tip percentages, however, increased over the years, suggesting that people derive benefits from tipping, such as impressing others and improving their self-image as being generous and kind. The implications to the norm of not cooperating with new workers who accept lower wages are discussed; the model suggests that incumbent workers have reasons to follow this norm in addition to avoiding social disapproval.

Keywords: Tipping, Social norms, Evolution, Conformist transmission, Conformity, Feelings, Emotions

JEL Classification: Z13, D11, A12, J00

Suggested Citation

Azar, Ofer H., What Sustains Social Norms and How They Evolve? The Case of Tipping (April 2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=397883 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.397883

Ofer H. Azar (Contact Author)

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management ( email )

P.O. Box 653
Beer-Sheva, 84105
Israel
+972 8 6472675 (Phone)
+972 8 6477691 (Fax)

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

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