On Custom in the Economy

Hardcover | March 1, 1998

byEkkehart Schlicht

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The aim of this book is to re-establish custom in economics. Current economic theorizing largely neglects the customary forces that underpin market exchange. Economic sociologists have stressed this repeatedly by referring to the 'embeddedness' of all kinds of economic processes. It is truethat market processes do hinge on elements of custom, but custom is in turn moulded by economic processes. This other causal direction needs more attention than it has hitherto received. The way modern institutional economics has developed points to the same deficiency. Institutional economicsinitially tried to analyse economic institutions as arising from market processes and competition whilst avoiding reference to all elements of custom, but it became increasingly clear that answers obtained in this fashion were critically dependent on tacit underlying assumptions about the customaryinfrastructure. Another current strand of thought, notably originating with game theory, has tried to understand the emergence of customs by viewing them as routines that have been adopted because of their success. This approach views customs essentially as conventions that solve coordination problems. It isdriven by the economic paradigm that interprets behaviour as fully reducible to the interplay of (given) preferences and constraints whilst neglecting the direct motivational impact of custom. The second aim of the book is thus to systematically harmonize the motivational significance of custom withinstitutional theorizing. The re-establishment of custom in economics will provide foundations for institutional economics which reduce the arbitrariness of current thinking.

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The aim of this book is to re-establish custom in economics. Current economic theorizing largely neglects the customary forces that underpin market exchange. Economic sociologists have stressed this repeatedly by referring to the 'embeddedness' of all kinds of economic processes. It is truethat market processes do hinge on elements of ...

Ekkehart Schlicht is at the University of Munich.

other books by Ekkehart Schlicht

Isolation and Aggregation in Economics
Isolation and Aggregation in Economics

Paperback|Nov 17 2011

$148.02

Format:HardcoverPublished:March 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198292244

ISBN - 13:9780198292241

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I The Amalgam of Custom. 1. A Web of Reinforcements2. Entitlements and Obligations3. Smooth and Lumpy Changes4. Fuzziness5. Adaptive Custom6. Clarity7. Rules and Schemata8. Rule Preference9. Attribution and Motivation10. Custom and StylePart II Custom in Action. 11. Property12. The Law13. The Firm14. The Division of LabourPart III Review. 15. The Texture of CustomAppendicesA Notes on MethodB The Principle of RelativityC Hume's LawReferencesIndex