The erosion of personal norms and cognitive dissonance

Fabrizio Panebianco, Vicente Calabuig, Gonzalo Olcina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this article, we study how personal norms and behaviour interact and evolve when agents try to reduce cognitive dissonance, and how this dynamic relates to Nash equilibrium. We find that in long run, agents play, and norms prescribe, Nash equilibrium in material payoffs (in the absence of norms). Our model captures two main facts: (i) norms erode along the play of the game; (ii) the erosion of norms depends on the set of possible economic choices, so that the policy maker can potentially influence them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1265-1268
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Economics Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Cognitive dissonance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Nash equilibrium
  • dominant strategies
  • norm dynamics


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