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Sunday, October 14, 2007

"They pretend to pay and we pretend to work". The puzzling connivance on low quality outcomes

"I dream of a country in which people preach so and so and act so and so"

Diego Gambetta (Sociology, Oxford) and myself present a paper at the IV Seminar of Investigation on Social Sciences and Political Studies: "Legal, moral and social norms" on October 19th and 20th in Bogotà, Colombia.

We describe a particular kind of interaction in which two parties who exchange a good prefer both a sub-optimal outcome and trust each other not to deliver exactly what they have promised to deliver. This sort of "mutual connivance" on low quality outcomes may be governed by a puzzling social norm of punishing "do-gooders".

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