Breaking A Social Norm Essay

Breaking A Social Norm Essay-15
Since the wage would not directly depend on the worker’s effort, this system leaves no incentive to the worker for any effort beyond the minimum necessary.In sharecropping, on the contrary, the worker is paid both for the effort and the time he puts in: a more efficient arrangement in that it increases production.Because of that, the issue of has been paramount in the social science literature.

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Akerlof’s (1976) analysis of the norms that regulate land systems is a good example of the tenet that “norms are efficient means to achieve social welfare”.Identify a common social norm and then construct an experiment in which you violate this norm.You should observe how others react to you and also how it makes you feel.Yet even if a norm may fulfill important social functions (such as welfare maximization or the elimination of externalities), it cannot be explained solely on the basis of the functions it performs.The simplistic functionalist perspective has been rejected on several accounts; in fact, even though a given norm can be conceived as a means to achieve some goal, this is usually not the reason why it emerged in the first place (Elster 1989a, 1989b).Thibaut and Kelley’s (1959) view of norms as substitutes for informal influence has a similar functionalist flavor.As an example, they consider a repeated battle of the sexes game.Such accounts find it difficult to explain the complexity and heterogeneity of norm-driven behaviors, as they offer an explanation of conformity that is at best partial.Some popular accounts of why social norms exist are the following.In the literature on norms and conventions, both social constructs are seen as the endogenous product of individuals’ interactions (Lewis 1969; Ullmann-Margalit 1977; Vandershraaf 1995; Bicchieri 2006).Norms are represented as equilibria of games of strategy, and as such they are supported by a cluster of self-fulfilling expectations.


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