ICES Seminar in Experimental Economics and Game Theory

A Theory of Injunctive Norms

Friday, December 4, 2020 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Online Location, Zoom Meeting

The ICES Seminar in Experimental Economics and Game Theory of the Fall 2020 semester will feature:

Erik Kimbrough

Chapman University

A Theory of Injunctive Norms


Please contact ICES Office Manager ( for Zoom link.



Theories of norm-dependent utility assume commonly known injunctive norms that rank feasible outcomes by their normative valence, but as yet normative valences have only been measured experimentally. We provide a theoretical foundation that assigns a normative valence to each outcome based on players’ dissatisfactions, which depend on the higher utilities that they could have received at other outcomes. The normatively best outcome is the one that minimizes aggregated dissatisfaction. Our model imposes structure on theories of normdriven behavior, rendering them precise and falsifiable. We consider a variety of illustrative applications, highlighting the intuition and explanatory power of the model.


For more information about the Seminar Series, please visit the Seminar Schedule homepage.