IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Conceptual issues in institutional economics: clarifying the fluidity of rules

Listed author(s):

This paper addresses the issue of how rules are conceptualized by Hodgson in Old Institutional Economics (OIE). The argument is put forward that the concept of rules can be constructively clarified. Rather than provide a general form of single rules within a rule system, we argue for a taxonomic range of single rule forms. This approach has the additional advantage of providing a more explicit account of how rules operate as part of a rule system. It also provides one way to address the fluidity of rules. Rules are understood to be more or less fluid (incomplete) and subject to a practical dynamism. This, we argue, can be differentiated from the idea of tendency based on the capacity of agents not to follow rules. A useful concept here is that of ‘mezzo rules’ or recodifications that both define the rule and distance the agent from their own rule-following behaviour. In pursuing the argument we also highlight various methodological implications. First, conceptual development is a key aspect of the OIE, particularly when it is located within Dow's structured pluralism. As such elaboration on rule forms enhances the consistency of OIE as methodology. Second, the exploration of a taxonomic range of rules and of forms of fluidity can provide useful resources in mapping out institutional processes in real research.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: link to article abstract page
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Journal of Institutional Economics.

Volume (Year): 7 (2011)
Issue (Month): 03 (September)
Pages: 425-454

in new window

Handle: RePEc:cup:jinsec:v:7:y:2011:i:03:p:425-454_00
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK

Web page:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:jinsec:v:7:y:2011:i:03:p:425-454_00. 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: (Keith Waters)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.