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The economic value of ideology

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  • Gustavo Federico Torrens

Abstract

Specialization and trade rest on institutions that protect property rights and enforce agreements. Frequently, in economic analysis institutions are just assumed to exist, or it is implicitly supposed that the political game can establish them. Once this assumption is done, the invisible hand does its work properly. It doesn’t matter if humans beings are benevolent or selfish for the gains from specialization and trade be realized. However, it is not easy to build institutions, neither are they a free lunch. The paper shows that ideology, understood as a self-imposed code of conduct, contributes to reduce the cost of instituting an industrious society, inducing people to assign their time and effort to productive activities rather than to theft.

Suggested Citation

  • Gustavo Federico Torrens, 2008. "The economic value of ideology," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 378, Universidad del CEMA.
  • Handle: RePEc:cem:doctra:378
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    File URL: http://www.ucema.edu.ar/publicaciones/download/documentos/378.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    ideology; self-imposed codes of conduct; crime; enforcement of property rights.;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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