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The economic value of ideology

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  • Gustavo Federico Torrens
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    Abstract

    Specialization and trade rest on institutions that protect property rights and enforce agreements. Frequently, in economic analysis institutions are just assumed to exist, or it is implicitly supposed that the political game can establish them. Once this assumption is done, the invisible hand does its work properly. It doesn’t matter if humans beings are benevolent or selfish for the gains from specialization and trade be realized. However, it is not easy to build institutions, neither are they a free lunch. The paper shows that ideology, understood as a self-imposed code of conduct, contributes to reduce the cost of instituting an industrious society, inducing people to assign their time and effort to productive activities rather than to theft.

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    File URL: http://www.ucema.edu.ar/publicaciones/download/documentos/378.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Universidad del CEMA in its series CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. with number 378.

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    Length: 18 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cem:doctra:378

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    Keywords: ideology; self-imposed codes of conduct; crime; enforcement of property rights.;

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    1. Konrad, Kai A & Skaperdas, Stergios, 1999. "The Market for Protection and the Origin of the State," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 2173, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    5. Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2004. "Fairness and Redistribution," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 122247000000000306, www.najecon.org.
    6. Douglass C, North, 1992. "Institutions, Ideology, and Economic Performance," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 11(3), pages 477-496, Winter.
    7. Coase, R H, 1976. "Adam Smith's Views of Man," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 529-46, October.
    8. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-83, May.
    9. Martin J Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 2009. "A Course in Game Theory," Levine's Bibliography 814577000000000225, UCLA Department of Economics.
    10. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Skaperdas, Stergios, 2007. "Economics of Conflict: An Overview," Handbook of Defense Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier.
    11. Grossman, Herschel I & Kim, Minseong, 1995. "Swords or Plowshares? A Theory of the Security of Claims to Property," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1275-88, December.
    12. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Anarchy and Its Breakdown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 26-52, February.
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