VIEWS: 7 PAGES: 4 POSTED ON: 11/16/2011
The Nature and Dynamics of Social Norms The Archive Types of norms and examples Pluralistic Ignorance doctors not reporting faults people not standing up for child-carriages in the train Norms of Coordination markets for foreign currency, gambling, prostitution, alcohol and narcotics Norms of Partiality first come, first served Norms of Cooperation Themes Examples of Norms and Conventions The norm for gathering driftwood after a storm in a fishing village on the Yorkshire cost is reported in Sugden (1989:85). Agents collect their driftwood in a pile and establish property rights over these for two high tides by placing two stones on top. The norm favoring the first comer when two cars from opposite direction have to cross a bridge (sugden1989) Sanctions Third-parties: Anyone who is favored by the convention on at least some occasions is likely to regard any breach of the convention as an indirect threat, Sugden (1989:96). Against Sanctions as Necessary Sugden (1989:86) gives a series of examples of institutions and conventions existing, not only without enforcement, but despite such: markets in foreign currency, gambling, prostitution, alcohol and narcotics. Conventions Defined Arbitrariness Sugden (1989:86): “The essential feature of a convention is that it is one of several possible solutions to a game”. Also, “I shall define a convention as any ESS in a game that has two or more ESS‟s”, p.91. Pareto-inefficiency Sugden (1989:93) argues, contrary what Elster takes him to argue in Social norms and Economics, that Conventions need not be Pareto-efficient. Because conventions spread by analogy we should not necessarily expect them to be well-adapted, Sugden (1989:94). Pre-conventional, Pre-normative State Sugden (1989:93): “The conventions that establish themselves will be the ones that can take root (biological metaphors are almost unavoidably) most quickly in a convention-free world”. Salience (Sugden 1989:93): “But, I have argued, prominence is largely a matter of common experience. The implication is that conventions may spread by analogy from one context to another.” The Dynamics of Convention Which? Sugden (1989:93) argues, contrary what Elster takes him to argue in Social norms and Economics, that Conventions need not be Pareto-efficient. Because conventions spread by analogy we should not necessarily expect them to be well-adapted, Sugden (1989:94). Sugden (1989:93): “The conventions that establish themselves will be the ones that can take root (biological metaphors are almost unavoidably) most quickly in a convention-free world”. Best analogies spread, Sugden (1989:93) Secondary Salience, Sugden (1989:94): “…different people may draw different analogies. However, in looking for analogies, people are playing another coordination game: each is trying to pick, not the analogy that most appeals to him, but the same analogy as everyone else. Thus we should expect some common principles for drawing analogies to evolve.” Versatility, A convention is versatile if someone who follows it can expect to do reasonably well against opponents following any of the other conventions that might be beginning to evolve at the same time, Sugden (1989:94). Emergence - how? Secondary Salience, Sugden (1989:93): “A convention can start to evolve as soon as some people believe that other people are following it. Analogy, (Sugden 1989:93): “But, I have argued, prominence is largely a matter of common experience. The implication is that conventions may spread by analogy from one context to another.” Conventions as Norms Sugden (1989:95-97) has a section on this problem. “People can come to believe that they ought to act in ways that maintain these [behavioral] patterns: conventions can become norms.” He refers to Hume as a source of the position taken. Emergence – mechanism and how? Sugden (1989:87): “The belief that one ought to follow a convention is the product of the same process of evolution as the convention itself”. Social approval and disapproval: “The mechanism that transforms conventions into norms is the human desire for the approval of others”, Sugden (1989:95). Notice, that here Sugden should perhaps have chosen the notion of social need for approval, as he goes on to argue that frustration is the mechanism. The need then is not some pro-social one, but rather an „instrumental‟ one connecting to the notion of reputation. Frustration: Given this expectation, each person finds it in his interest to follow the convention. And given that a person is following the convention himself, he not only expects the people with whom he interacts to demand no more than the convention allows them, he also wants them to behave in this way… My action is harming you by frustrating an expectation that you had good reason to hold.” Sugden (1989:96). Third-parties: Anyone who is favored by the convention on at least some occasions is likely to regard any breach of the convention as an indirect threat, Sugden (1989:96). Norms of Partiality Sugden (1989:96), discusses the role of normative attitudes in relation to norms of partiality explicitly mentioning gender favoritism. However, his position is seemingly equivocal saying both that one should not expect normative attitudes against deviation in the disfavored group as well as that this can be the case. If he is taken to assert the first view he is definitely wrong, as the disfavored group is inflicted by harm by a sole disfavored deviator as well as the favored group (see Hansen 2005, ch.6). ‘Chicken’ Sugden (1989:87) has a section on „Chicken‟ as a model for studying the emergence of property rights. He does not mention the single-population model, only the two-population model where populations are given by labels. Rationality and Coordination Sugden (1989:88-90) gives a discussion of why rationality does not facilitate coordination. He takes Schelling as the one showing that classical game theory cannot devise solutions for games with multiple equilibria. Besides this, his discussion of why rationality fails is not especially illuminating. Evolutionary Stability – ESS Not all NE‟s are ESS‟s, Sugden (1989:91) Evolutionary stability contrasted with Classical Game Theory, in particular Selten‟s trembling hand equilibrium concept, see Sugden (1989:92). Some space is devoted to contrasting the concept of „trembles‟ with „mutation‟. Sugden (1989:90-92) gives a discussion of ESS in relation to convention in the context of „chicken‟. “I shall define a convention as any ESS in a game that has two or more ESS‟s”, p.91. Classical Game Theory Sugden (1989) explicitly makes use of the notion of „Classical Game Theory‟ all the way. Summaries Sugden, Robert (1989). ‘Spontaneous order’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 3, number 4, Fall 1989, p. 85-97 Order in human affairs, Sugden argues, can arise spontaneously, in the form of conventions. These are patterns of behavior that are self-perpetuating – that can replicate themselves. In particular, rules of property – the essential preconditions for markets to work – can evolve this way. These rules are not the result of any process of collective choice. Nor do they result from the kind of abstract rational analysis employed in classical game theory, in which individuals are modeled as having unlimited powers of deductive reasoning but no imagination and no common human experience. In this sense, at least, conventions are not the product of our reason. Nor are these patterns of behavior necessarily efficient. They have evolved because they are more successful at replicating themselves than other patterns: if they can be said to have any purpose or function, it is simply replication [notice, this is relative to alternative conventions]. They do not serve any overarching social purpose; thus they cannot, in general, be justified in terms of any system of morality that sees society as having an overall objective or welfare function. The conventions that we follow may, however, have moral force on us. But if they do, that is because our moral beliefs are the products of the same process of evolution.