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The Rise and Fall of Enforcement Institutions: An Example of Religion and Secularism

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  • Ciaian, Pavel
  • Pokrivčák, Ján
  • Kancs, D'Artis

Abstract

Societies in Western civilisation enforce their rules through formal secular institutions (SES), whereas less developed civilisations often rely on informal, often religious, institutions (RES). The present paper attempts to explain the determinants of societies’ choice between different enforcement systems, and their implications for society development using an example of two different enforcement models: one informal (RES) and one formal (SES). We find that, because the RES is based on beliefs, its efficiency depends heavily on its credibility, making it hardly flexible and highly susceptible to conflicts in dynamic environments. In contrast, because under the SES societal rules are enforced through a formal legal enforcement sector, the SES is more flexible, although also more costly than the RES. The empirical evidence strongly supports our findings that wealthy, dynamic and fast growing economies typically choose the SES for enforcing societal norms and rules.

Suggested Citation

  • Ciaian, Pavel & Pokrivčák, Ján & Kancs, D'Artis, 2012. "The Rise and Fall of Enforcement Institutions: An Example of Religion and Secularism," European Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(02), pages 233-251, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:eurrev:v:20:y:2012:i:02:p:233-251_00
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Reyerson, Kathryn, 2006. "Institutions and the Path to the Modern Economy: Lessons from Medieval Trade. By Avner Greif. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Pp. xix, 503. $34.99, paper," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(04), pages 1080-1081, December.
    2. Azim Raimbaev, 2011. "The case of transition economies: what institutions matter for growth?," Journal of Economics and Econometrics, Economics and Econometrics Society, vol. 54(2), pages 1-33.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:98:y:2004:i:04:p:633-652_04 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2008. "Religion, politics, and development: Lessons from the lands of Islam," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 329-351, November.
    5. Kingston, Christopher & Caballero, Gonzalo, 2009. "Comparing theories of institutional change," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(02), pages 151-180, August.
    6. Azim Raimbaev, 2011. "The case of transition economies: what institutions matter for growth?," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2011_16, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pavel Ciaian & d'Artis Kancs, 2016. "Causes of the Social and Economic Marginalisation: The Role of Social Mobility Barriers for Roma," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 2016/03, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B15 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • E11 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Marxian; Sraffian; Kaleckian
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth
    • P37 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Legal
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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