Social norms or social preferences?

Mind and Society 9 (2):139-157 (2010)
Some behavioral economists argue that the honoring of social norms can be adequately modeled as the optimization of social utility functions in which the welfare of others appears as an explicit argument. This paper suggests that the large experimental claims made for social utility functions are premature at best, and that social norms are better studied as equilibrium selection devices that evolved for use in games that are seldom studied in economics laboratories
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DOI 10.1007/s11299-010-0073-2
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