Community standards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


I introduce a model of community standards relevant to the judicial determination of obscenity. Standards are defined as subjective judgments restricted only by a simple reasonableness condition. Individual standards are aggregated to form the community standard. Several axioms reflect legal concerns. These require that the community standard (a) preserve unanimous agreements, (b) become more permissive when all individuals become more permissive, and not discriminate, ex ante, (c) between individuals and (d) between works. I show that any rule which satisfies these properties must be "similar" to unanimity rule. I also explore the relationship between the model and the doctrinal paradox of Kornhauser and Sager [12].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2696-2705
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Economic Theory
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Aggregation
  • Axioms
  • Community standards
  • Doctrinal paradox
  • Obscenity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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