Signaling about norms: socialization under strategic uncertainty

Adriani, Fabrizio and Sonderegger, Silvia (2016) Signaling about norms: socialization under strategic uncertainty. Scandinavian Journal of Economics . ISSN 1467-9442 (In Press)

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We consider a signaling model where adults possess information about the dominant social norm. Children want to conform to whatever norm is dominant but, lacking accurate information, take the observed behavior of their parent as representative. We show that this causes a signaling distortion in adult behavior, even in the absence of conflicts of interest. Parents adopt attitudes that encourage their children to behave in a socially safe way, i.e. the way that would be optimal under maximum uncertainty about the prevailing social norm. We discuss applications to sexual attitudes, collective reputation, and trust.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: signaling, Social Norms, Cultural Transmission, Complementarities, Conformity
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
Depositing User: Sonderegger, Silvia
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2016 08:52
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2016 05:51

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