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Three problems of social organisation: institutional law and economics meets Habermasian law and democracy


  • Kenneth L. Avio


This paper attempts to identify certain implications of Habermasian ethics for the economic analysis of law. It does so by demonstrating a complementarity between the Habermas of Between Facts and Norms and the Veblen--Ayres--Commons tradition(s) of economic analysis. Three unresolved problems of social organisation raised by the institutionalists are addressed: the legitimacy of the status quo ante (Buchanan-Schmid), the legitimacy of society's transaction structure (Klevorick) and the problem of social order (Hobbes-Platteau). Discourse ethics demonstrates how these problems may be resolved. The model of human agency adopted in institutional law and economics permits an easier fit with discourse ethics than would be possible with the neoclassical traditions. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

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  • Kenneth L. Avio, 2002. "Three problems of social organisation: institutional law and economics meets Habermasian law and democracy," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 501-520, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:26:y:2002:i:4:p:501-520

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Petrick, Martin, 2008. "Theoretical and methodological topics in the institutional economics of European agriculture. With applications to farm organisation and rural credit arrangements," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Transition Economies, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), volume 45, number 92318.
    2. Wilfred Dolfsma, 2013. "Government Failure," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15372.
    3. Silvia Sacchetti, 2015. "Inclusive and Exclusive Social Preferences: A Deweyan Framework to Explain Governance Heterogeneity," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 126(3), pages 473-485, February.
    4. Dolfsma, W.A. & McMaster, R. & Finch, J., 2005. "Institutions, Institutional Change, Language, and Searle," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2005-067-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

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