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Adam Smith's account of self-deceit and informal institutions

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  • Caroline Gerschlager
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    Abstract

    According to Adam Smith, self-deceit is essential to the economy. In this light the paper draws on the Theory of Moral Sentiments and revisits Adam Smith’s view of the self. The originality of Smith’s account of self-deceit is seen in his insights into self-regulating social forces. The paper illustrates how, in this view, informal institutions are important because they countervail self-deceit in markets. It suggests that Smith overestimated these countervailing forces for the reason that informal norms are also able to amplify selfdeceiving agents.

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    File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/13610/1/dul-0083.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series DULBEA Working Papers with number 07-10.RS.

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    Date of creation: May 2007
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    Publication status: Published by: ULB, DULBEA
    Handle: RePEc:dul:wpaper:07-10rs

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    Keywords: self-deception; self-love; sympathy; informal norms; self-regulation; positive and negative feedback.;

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    Cited by:
    1. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Friedrich Schneider & Laurent Weill, 2007. "Does taking the shadow economy into account matter to measure aggregate efficiency?," Working Papers CEB 07-027.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Jean-Luc Demeulemeester & Olivier Debande, 2008. "Quality and Variety Competition in Higher Education," Working Papers 08-10, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
    3. Henri Capron, 2007. "Politique de cohésion et développement régional," DULBEA Working Papers 07-16.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Caroline Gerschlager, 2008. "Foolishness and identity: Amartya Sen and Adam Smith," DULBEA Working Papers 08-03.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Abdeslam Marfouk, 2008. "The African brain drain: scope and determinants," DULBEA Working Papers 08-07.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Benoît Mahy & François Rycx & Mélanie Volral, 2008. "L'influence de la dispersion salariale sur la performance des grandes entreprises belges," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13474, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Hassan Ayoub & Jérôme Creel & Etienne Farvaque, 2008. "Détermination du niveau des prix et finances: le cas du Liban 1965-2005," DULBEA Working Papers 08-10.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    8. Ariane Szafarz, 2007. "Hiring people-like-yourself: a representation of discrimination on the job market," DULBEA Working Papers 07-21.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Jean Luc De Meulemeester, 2007. "L'économie de l'éducation fait-elle des progrès? Une perspective d'histoire de la pensée économique," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 50(1), pages 89-111.
    10. Henri Capron & Michele Cincera, 2007. "EU pre-competitive and near-the-market S&T collaborations," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 50(1), pages 135-159.
    11. Jérôme De Henau & Leila Maron & Danièle Meulders & Sile Padraigin O'Dorchai, 2007. "Travail et maternité en Europe: conditions de travail et politiques publiques," DULBEA Working Papers 07-14.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    12. Sile Padraigin O'Dorchai, 2008. "Pay inequality in 25 European countries," DULBEA Working Papers 08-06rs, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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