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Respond to the question: social norms and formal incentives?

08/15/2000 01:36 PM by Laurent Franckx; social norms and formal incentives
According to the literature on social norms, a society can end up in a "desirable" equilibrium (for instance, without overexploitation of natural resources) without formal incentives for "desirable" behavior, because people seek approval from their peer groups.

Casual observation shows that these mechanisms are particularly strong in professions where "heroic" attitudes are important (obviously, armies, but one could also think of fire brigades or police departments). Some people have argued that the introduction of formal incentive schemes in such organisations could "destroy" the informal value system and move the organisation to a "bad" equilibrium. For instance, some analysts (mainly historians) of the Vietnam war have argued that the introduction of systems analysis and formal management systems in the American Army have fundamentally changed American officers attitudes away from fighting to merely managing the war.

Is anybody aware of existing work that has formalized this idea?

Laurent Franckx, MSc Department of Economics and Management Royal Military Academy Renaissancelaan, 30 1000 Brussel Belgium

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08/14/2000 10:39 AM by Walter;
Could you rewrite your question? I cannot read anything. Walter [View full text and thread]

08/14/2000 07:16 AM by Franckx Laurent; social norms and formal incentives
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