AuthorGYORFFY, DANIEL JOSEPH
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe classical theory of Community Enforcement attempts to explain how communities of individuals are able to maintain order through a series of norms by placing sanctions on violators. However, in order to do this, the received model relies on a labeling mechanism which assumes the existence of a central formal institution, something which operates contrary to the model’s goal of explaining how members of a community act to police themselves. In this paper I explore the idea of personal reputation as an alternative labeling mechanism, explaining how reputation seeking behavior is inherently incentivized by the greater long-term benefits which can be gained through mutual cooperation; how the repeated Covenant Game presents a more naturalistic model than the repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma by accounting for the fact that individuals will enter games with others at different frequencies, as well as introducing a more realistic threat point to the equation where sufficient noise caused by an individual’s violation of a norm may result in the punishment of social ostracization; detail the distinctions that not all games in a series will be identical and that violating in games with differing stakes will have proportionally differing effects on that individual’s reputation; finally address how a system of Community Enforcement using reputation as a labeling mechanism would be able to respond to the question of Hobbes’ Foole, illustrating that the threat point of ostracization is sufficient to disincentivize such a strategy.
Degree ProgramPhilosophy, Politics, Economics & Law