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Institutions: A Concept For A Theory Of Conformity And Innovation

  • David Dequech

This paper proposes a broad concept of institutions and examines some theoretically relevant aspects of this and alternative concepts. The proposed concept is broad in two aspects: it includes a mental dimension not reduced to expectations, allowing institutional patterns of thought to include models of varying degrees of generality and precision; and it includes institutions that are norms of some kind as well as others that are not. Institutions may be social norms (legal or informal; moral or epistemic), decision- theoretic norms (a concept introduced to designate patterns that an individual should follow out of self-interest), or conventions without norm status. The proposed concept is able to underlie a theory that emphasizes the possibility of creative, unconventional behavior without implying that such behavior is irrational or necessarily subject to social sanctions. This is different from several concepts of institutions in institutional economics and in sociology.

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Paper provided by ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics] in its series Anais do XXXIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 33th Brazilian Economics Meeting] with number 174.

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Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:anp:en2005:174
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  1. Geoffrey M. Hodgson, 1998. "The Approach of Institutional Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 166-192, March.
  2. Dequech, David, 2006. "The new institutional economics and the theory of behaviour under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 109-131, January.
  3. David Dequech, 2003. "Conventional and unconventional behavior under uncertainty," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 26(1), pages 145-168, October.
  4. Posner, Richard A, 1997. "Social Norms and the Law: An Economic Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 365-69, May.
  5. Elster, Jon, 1989. "Social Norms and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 99-117, Fall.
  6. Sugden, Robert, 1989. "Spontaneous Order," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 85-97, Fall.
  7. George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-775.
  8. G. Hodgson., 2007. "What Are Institutions?," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 8.
  9. Rutherford,Malcolm, 1994. "Institutions in Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521451895, November.
  10. Arthur T. Denzau & Douglass C. North, 1993. "Shared Mental Models: Ideologies and Institutions," Economic History 9309003, EconWPA.
  11. Veblen, Thorstein, 1909. "The Limitations of Marginal Utility," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 17.
  12. Nelson, Richard R. & Sampat, Bhaven N., 2001. "Making sense of institutions as a factor shaping economic performance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 31-54, January.
  13. Paul Davidson, 1994. "Post Keynesian Macroeconomic Theory," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 124.
  14. Olivier Favereau, 1989. "Marchés internes, marchés externes," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 40(2), pages 273-328.
  15. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-50, October.
  16. Paul DiMaggio, 1998. "The New Institutionalisms: Avenues of Collaboration," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 154(4), pages 696-, December.
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