IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bpj/rlecon/v4y2008i3n3.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Social Norms and the Law: Why Peoples Obey the Law

Author

Listed:
  • Licht Amir N.

    (Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya)

Abstract

This paper explores the relations between law and social norms and in particular, the case of legal compliance in groups. Specifically, this paper argues that the rule of law is a social norm interfacing the formal institutions of society with the informal ones. As social institutions, norms should also be analyzed at the societal level a level of analysis that neo-classical economic accounts have failed to address due to fundamental premises of current economic theory. Theories developed in psychology provide a good working framework for social norm analysis in general and of legal compliance (rule of law) in particular. Extant evidence is consistent with the present argument.

Suggested Citation

  • Licht Amir N., 2008. "Social Norms and the Law: Why Peoples Obey the Law," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(3), pages 715-750, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:rlecon:v:4:y:2008:i:3:n:3
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/rle.2008.4.3/rle.2008.4.3.1232/rle.2008.4.3.1232.xml?format=INT
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 1-35.
    2. Charness, Gary & haruvy, Ernan & Sonsino, Doron, 2001. "Social Distance and Reciprocity: The Internet vs. the Laboratory," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt3dt073wb, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    3. Bohnet, Iris & Cooter, Robert, 2001. "Expressive Law: Framing or Equilibrium Selection?," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt5h6970h8, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    4. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 817-869.
    5. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    6. Kreps, David M., 1990. "Game Theory and Economic Modelling," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198283812.
    7. Patricia Funk, 2005. "Governmental Action, Social Norms, and Criminal Behavior," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(3), pages 522-522, September.
    8. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 817-868.
    9. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:98:y:2004:i:04:p:633-652_04 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Dutta, Bhaskar & Ray, Debraj, 1989. "A Concept of Egalitarianism under Participation Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, pages 615-635.
    12. Brekke, Kurt R. & Kuhn, Michael, 2006. "Direct to consumer advertising in pharmaceutical markets," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 102-130, January.
    13. ., 1998. "Pscyhology and Economics," Chapters,in: The Handbook of Economic Methodology, chapter 96 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 75-111.
    15. Guido Cozzi, 1998. "Culture as a Bubble," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 376-394, April.
    16. Sugden, Robert, 1989. "Spontaneous Order," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, pages 85-97.
    17. Tirole, J., 1993. "A Theory of Collective Reputations with Applications to the Persistence of Corruption and to Firm Quality," Working papers 93-13, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    18. Jean-Robert Tyran & Lars P. Feld, 2006. "Achieving Compliance when Legal Sanctions are Non-deterrent," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, pages 135-156.
    19. Guido Tabellini, 2010. "Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 677-716, June.
    20. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1996. "Pollution permits and compliance strategies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 85-125, October.
    21. Lars P. Feld & Jan Schnellenbach & Christoph A Schaltegger, 2004. "On Government Centralization and Fiscal Referendums: A Theoretical Model and Evidence from Switzerland," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200419, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    22. Glaeser, Edward L & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1126-1152, December.
      • Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    23. repec:cup:apsrev:v:80:y:1986:i:04:p:1095-1111_18 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. " Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-1150, July.
    25. Dufwenberg, Martin & Lundholm, Michael, 2001. "Social Norms and Moral Hazard," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 506-525, July.
    26. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    27. Sen, Amartya, 1993. "Internal Consistency of Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, pages 495-521.
    28. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, pages 23-48.
    29. Robert H. Bates & Avner Greif & Margaret Levi & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 1998. "Analytic Narratives," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 6355, June.
    30. Oliver E. Williamson, 2000. "The New Institutional Economics: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 595-613.
    31. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, pages 99-117.
    32. Kuran, Timur, 1998. "Ethnic Norms and Their Transformation through Reputational Cascades," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, pages 623-659.
    33. Jean Tirole, 1996. "A Theory of Collective Reputations (with applications to the persistence of corruption and to firm quality)," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(1), pages 1-22.
    34. Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 2001. "Moral Rules and the Moral Sentiments: Toward a Theory of an Optimal Moral System," NBER Working Papers 8688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    35. Dicey, Albert Venn, 1915. "Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, edition 8, number dicey1915.
    36. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 992-1026.
    37. Shira B. Lewin, 1996. "Economics and Psychology: Lessons for Our Own Day from the Early Twentieth Century," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 1293-1323.
    38. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-877, October.
    39. Matthew Rabin, 1998. "Psychology and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 11-46.
    40. Matthew Rabin, 1998. "Psychology and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 11-46.
    41. Bernstein, Lisa, 1992. "Opting Out of the Legal System: Extralegal Contractual Relations in the Diamond Industry," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, pages 115-157.
    42. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-950, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Fidrmuc, Jana P. & Jacob, Marcus, 2010. "Culture, agency costs, and dividends," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, pages 321-339.
    2. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2011. "Laws and Norms," NBER Working Papers 17579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. David Matesanz Gomez & Guillermo J. Ortega & Benno Torgler, 2011. "Measuring Globalization: A hierarchical network approach," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 267, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    4. van Winden Frans A.A.M. & Ash Elliott, 2012. "On the Behavioral Economics of Crime," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, pages 181-213.
    5. Cabral, Sandro & Lazzarini, Sérgio G., 2010. "Guarding the Guardians: An Analysis of Investigations against Police," Insper Working Papers wpe_202, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
    6. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2011. "Econometric Estimates of Deterrence of the Death Penalty: Facts or Ideology?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 448-478, August.
    7. Charles Kenny, Dev Patel, 2017. "Gender Laws, Values, and Outcomes: Evidence from the World Values Survey - Working Paper 452," Working Papers 452, Center for Global Development.
    8. : Jana P. Fidrmuc & Marcus Jacob, 2010. "Culture, Agency Costs and Dividends," Working Papers wpn10-01, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
    9. Sophie Harnay & Elisabeth Tovar, 2017. "Obeying vs. resisting unfair laws. A structural analysis of the internalization of collective preferences on redistribution using classification trees and random forests," EconomiX Working Papers 2017-34, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    10. Pieter H.M. RUYS, 2014. "Architecture of an Economy with Social Enterprises: the Relational Capacity Approach," CIRIEC Working Papers 1413, CIRIEC - Université de Liège.
    11. Prinz, Aloys & Muehlbacher, Stephan & Kirchler, Erich, 2014. "The slippery slope framework on tax compliance: An attempt to formalization," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, pages 20-34.
    12. Claudia R. Williamson & Carrie B. Kerekes, 2011. "Securing Private Property: Formal versus Informal Institutions," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 537-572.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:rlecon:v:4:y:2008:i:3:n:3. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla). General contact details of provider: https://www.degruyter.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.