Schøyen presents in Boston

24 February 2017 21:29

(updated: 25 February 2017 08:30)

Schøyen presents in Boston

The Choice Lab’s PhD student Øivind Schøyen presents at the 16th Annual ASREC Conference in Boston, 24-25 February.

Schøyen is presenting the paper “What limits the powerful in imposing the morality of their authority?” at the conference. ASREC - The Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Culture exists to promote interdisciplinary scholarship on religion and seeks especially to stimulate work based on economic perspectives and the rational choice paradigm.

Conference website



This paper models a game between an authority, seeking to implement its preferred morality, and a parental generation, seeking to socialize a younger generation into the parents' own morality. The authority sets a coercion level for adhering to the non-state morality, whereupon the parental generation chooses whether to commit an insurrection and, if does not, how much to invest in socialization. The novel feature of this paper is that we formalize and explore the consequences of an intrinsic negative reaction to coercion; coercion resentment. The key result is to show the necessary micro level assumptions for an inefficient interval of coercion use that can account for authorities choosing to restrain their use of coercion. Further, it shows that if and only if there exist coercion levels that can only be implemented from some initial conditions, will the model exhibit path dependency i.e. long term equilibriums will be given by the history of the polity. Two historical periods are presented through the lens of the model; the Counter-Reformation in early modern France and the Holy Roman Empire (1517-1685) and the Soviet Secularization project (1922-1991).