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A Game-Theoretic Framework to Study the Influence of Globalisation on Social Norms of Co-operation

Gianluca Grimalda

CSGR Working Paper No. 151/04

November 2004




A game-theoretic framework is developed to study the evolution of social norms in a society.

The two main theoretical assumptions underpinning the model are, first, that agents have

some kind of “social” preferences, in addition to standard “self-interested” preferences.

Second, individuals modify their behaviour over time in accordance to the “imitation of the

most successful agent” paradigm. A stylised model of social interactions is developed, along

with concepts of static and dynamic equilibria. After social preferences are specified in

accordance with the normative expectation theory, an analysis of the type of equilibria in

public goods interactions is provided. Finally, the impact on co-operation of a change in a

society’s modes of behaviour, which may be seen as a result of migration or the impact of

global communication media, is studied.



Keywords: Co-operation, social norms, evolution