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The Market: What Lies Beneath

  • Mercuro Nicholas

    (Michigan State University)

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    The chapter sets forth a conceptual model of a comparative institutional approach to law and economics that can help make the meaningful alternatives known to society. The driving force behind such an approach is the need to come to grips with the interrelations between legal and economic processes. Consistent with the thrust of old and new institutional economics, institutional structure cannot merely be assumed away or taken as given; rather, institutions must be the subject of study involving a comparison of the effects of institutional alternatives on our environment, natural resources, and use of land. The chapter includes a discussion of the i) constitutional, ii) institutional, and iii) economic-impact stages of choice, focusing on four different means of social control (together with their respective property rights regimes) that serve to allocate society’s scarce resources, namely the market sector (private property rights), the public sector (status rights), the communal sector (communal rights), and the openaccess resource sector (no property rights). Environmental, natural resource, and land-use examples are included in the analysis of each stage of choice in exploring the consequences of fashioning remedies within the market sector, the public sector, the communal sector, or leaving resources in the open-access resource sector. It presents a perspective that avoids the rhetorical policy stance of “government versus the market” by showing that economic performance is driven by i) law, ii) technology and iii) social norms. In this, the state stands as an essential complement to the market sector, the public sector, and the communal sector and not a substitute for them; each exists through the active role of government not by government forbearance.Ce chapitre présente un modèle conceptuel d’une approche institutionnelle comparative en analyse économique du droit, aidant à faire connaître d’autres alternatives à la société. Cette approche permettra d’approfondir, les interrelations entre les processus économiques et juridiques. Selon les principes de l’ancienne et de la nouvelle économie institutionnelle, la structure des institutions ne peut pas être supposée donnée ou absente de l’analyse. Plutôt, les institutions doivent être l’objet d’étude, et l’on doit s’attacher à comparer les effets des différentes alternatives sur l’environnement, les ressources naturelles et l’utilisation de la terre. Ce chapitre contient une discussion des étapes de choix constitutionnels, institutionnels et des impacts économiques. Il se concentre sur quatre moyens différents de contrôle social (en liaison avec leur régime respectif de droit de propriété), qui servent à allouer des ressources rares de la société, notamment le marché (droit de propriété privé), le secteur public (droit légiféré), le secteur de communautés (droit des communautés), le secteur des ressources d’accès libre (absence de droit de propriété). Les exemples environnementaux, ceux des ressources naturelles, et de l’utilisation des terres sont considérés dans l’analyse de chacune des étapes de choix, en analysant les conséquences de la confection de remèdes au sein respectivement, du secteur de marché, du secteur public, du secteur des communautés, ou lorsque l’on laisse libre les ressources du secteur d’accès libre. Il fournit une perspective qui évite les positions rhétoriques de politiques “Etat versus marché” en montrant que la performance économique est liée au droit, à la technologie et aux normes sociales. Dans cette perspective, l’Etat est considéré comme un complément essentiel du marché, du secteur public, du secteur communal et non comme un substitut; chacun de ces secteurs existe à travers le rôle actif de l’Etat.

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    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines.

    Volume (Year): 14 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 2 (December)
    Pages: 1-17

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:14:y:2004:i:2:n:2
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