This paper discusses recent papers in experimental law and economics studying the rela-tion between laws and social norms. Traditionally the law and economics analysis of legal compliance focuses on the effectiveness of the legal system in law enforcement. However, recent lab-experiments have shown that obligations might affect behaviors by influencing expectations about others’ choices, thus allowing the emergence of virtuous equilibria in games where social preferences matter. Moreover, obligations might directly affect pref-erences. These results have implications for the analyses of legal rules and regulation.

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