From peer pressure to biased norms
Title: From peer pressure to biased norms
Citation: American economic journal : microeconomics, 2017, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 152-216
ISSN: 1945-7669; 1945-7685
This paper studies a coordination game between a continuum of players with heterogeneous tastes who perceive peer pressure when behaving differently from each other. It characterizes the conditions under which a social norm-a mode of behavior followed by many-exists in equilibrium and the patterns of norm compliance. The emergent norm may be biased compared to the average taste in society, yet endogenously upheld by the population. Strikingly, a biased norm will, under some circumstances, be more sustainable than a non-biased norm, which may explain the bias of various social and religious norms.
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