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The Economic Theory of Social Institutions


  • Schotter,Andrew


This book uses game theory to analyse the creation, evolution and function of economic and social institutions. The author illustrates his analysis by describing the organic or unplanned evolution of institutions such as the conventions of war, the use of money, property rights and oligopolistic pricing conventions. Professor Schotter begins by linking his work with the ideas of the philosophers Rawls, Nozick and Lewis. Institutions are regarded as regularities in the behaviour of social agents, which the agents themselves tacitly create to solve a wide variety of recurrent problems. The repetitive nature of the problems permits them to be described as a recurrent game or 'supergame.' The agents use these regularities as informational devices to supplement the information contained in competitive prices. The final chapter explores the applicability of this theory, first by relating it to previous work on the theory of teams, hierarchies, and non-maximizing decision theory, and then by using it to provide a new approach to a variety of questions both within and outside economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Schotter,Andrew, 2008. "The Economic Theory of Social Institutions," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521067133, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:cbooks:9780521067133

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Conybeare, John A C & Murdoch, James C & Sandler, Todd, 1994. "Alternative Collective-Goods Models of Military Alliances: Theory and Empirics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(4), pages 525-542, October.
    2. Coase, R H, 1976. "Adam Smith's Views of Man," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 529-546, October.
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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Estrada, Fernando, 2010. "Epistemology of the economy: comments from Robert Nozick," MPRA Paper 22410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Elert, Niklas & Henrekson, Magnus, 2016. "Status Quo Institutions and the Benefits of Institutional Deviations," Working Paper Series 1144, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 15 Mar 2017.
    3. Estrada, Fernando, 2010. "Heuristic on economics," MPRA Paper 35118, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2011.
    4. Elert, Niklas & Henrekson, Magnus, 2017. "Entrepreneurship and Institutions: A Bidirectional Relationship," Working Paper Series 1153, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 05 May 2017.
    5. John Thrasher, 2014. "Ordering Anarchy," Rationality, Markets and Morals, Frankfurt School Verlag, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, vol. 5(83), April.
    6. Estrada, Fernando, 2012. "Heuristic in the economic: a note on Robert Nozick," MPRA Paper 38882, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Dirk Bethmann & Michael Kvasnicka, 2011. "The institution of marriage," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 1005-1032, July.
    8. Boğaçhan Çelen & Erkut Özbay, 2012. "Introduction to a festschrift for Andrew Schotter," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 16(2), pages 89-91, September.
    9. repec:ann:journl:v:20:y:2017:i:2:p:31-43 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Todd Sandler, 2015. "Collective action: fifty years later," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 164(3), pages 195-216, September.
    11. Cyril Hédoin & Lauren Larrouy, 2016. "Game Theory, Institutions and the Schelling-Bacharach Principle: Toward an Empirical Social Ontology," GREDEG Working Papers 2016-21, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

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