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Institutions, distributed cognition and agency: rule-following as performative action

  • Carsten Herrmann-Pillath

Aoki recently proposed the concept of substantive institutions, a concept that relates the outcomes of strategic interaction with public representations of the equilibrium states of games. I argue that the Aoki model can be grounded in theories of distributed cognition and performativity, which I put into the context of Searle's philosophical account of institutions. Substantive institutions build on regularized causal interactions between internal neuronal mechanisms and external facts, shared in a population of agents. Following Searle's proposal of conceiving rule-following as a neuronally anchored behavioral disposition, I show that his corresponding notion of collective intentionality can be grounded in recent neuroscience theories of imitation as the primordial process in human learning. I relate this to Searle's concept of status function and the neuronal theory of metaphors. This results in a precise definition of rule-following as performative action. I present two empirical examples of this: (1) the institution of money, and (2) status hierarchies in markets.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/1350178X.2012.661066
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Economic Methodology.

Volume (Year): 19 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 21-42

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:19:y:2012:i:1:p:21-42
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  1. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2008. "Neuroeconomics, naturalism and language," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 108, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  2. Heidorn, Thomas & Schmaltz, Christian & Kunze, Wolfgang, 2008. "Liquiditätsmodellierung von Kreditzusagen (term facilities and revolver)," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 93, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  3. Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, 2010. "A neurolinguistic approach to performativity in economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 241-260.
  4. Hankir, Yassin & Rauch, Christian & Umber, Marc P., 2009. "It's the market power, stupid! Stock return patterns in international bank M&A," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 129, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  5. Christina E. Bannier, 2010. "Is there a Holdup Benefit in Heterogeneous Multiple Bank Financing?," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 166(4), pages 641-661, December.
  6. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2010. "Entropy, function and evolution: naturalizing Peircian semiosis," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 134, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  7. Roßbach, Peter, 2009. "Die Rolle des Internets als Informationsbeschaffungsmedium in Banken," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 120, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  8. Libman, Alexander, 2010. "Constitutions, regulations, and taxes: Contradictions of different aspects of decentralization," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 395-418, December.
  9. Hirsch, Christian & Bannier, Christina E., 2007. "The economics of rating watchlists: evidence from rating changes," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 88, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  10. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2008. "The naturalistic turn in economics: implications for the theory of finance," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 105, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  11. Bannier, Christina E., 2007. "Heterogeneous multiple bank financing: does it reduce inefficient credit-renegotation incidences?," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 83, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  12. Bannier, Christina E. & Müsch, Stefan, 2008. "Die Auswirkungen der Subprime-Krise auf den deutschen LBO-Markt für Small- und MidCaps," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 103, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  13. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2009. "Kulturelle Hybridisierung und Wirtschaftstransformation in China," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 115, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  14. Bannier, Christina E. & Grote, Michael H., 2008. "Equity gap? - Which equity gap? On the financing structure of Germany's Mittelstand," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 106, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  15. Ansgar Belke & Thorsten Polleit, 2005. "(How) Do Stock Market Returns React to Monetary Policy? - An ARDL Cointegration Analysis for Germany," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 253/2005, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
  16. Ansgar Belke & Thorsten Polleit, 2007. "How the ECB and the US Fed set interest rates," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(17), pages 2197-2209.
  17. Wollersheim, Jutta & Barthel, Erich, 2008. "Kulturunterschiede bei Mergers & Acquisitions: Entwicklung eines Konzeptes zur Durchführung einer Cultural Due Diligence," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 94, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  18. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten & Libman, Alexander & Xiaofan, Yu, 2010. "State and market integration in China: A spatial econometrics approach to 'local protectionism'," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 137, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
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