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Post-Darwinian Societies Seminar: Jack Vromen, “Social norms evolving”

2023-12-07@16:30-17:45 CET

Speaker: Jack Vromen (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Title: “Social norms evolving”


Following Lewis’ (1969) seminal account of conventions, several scholars have used game theory to shed light on how social norms evolve. In my talk I will show that the way in which this is done also has evolved. Initially, the focus was very much on providing “ultimate” functional explanations, for example how social norms could have evolved (as “high-welfare equilibria”) to solve coordination and cooperation problems. The focus has shifted to providing “proximate” explanations of what makes people comply with social norms, including social norms that are dysfunctional (as “low-welfare equilibria”; e.g., explaining why people with non-cooperative norms sometimes engage in antisocial punishment of cooperators). Several features of this shift in focus will be discussed with an emphasis on the utility functions that have been proposed to rationalize norm compliance.

Registration is free, but required for participation via Microsoft Teams: please e-mail dina.geron@uclouvain.be.


16:30-17:45 CET