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On Custom

  • Schlicht, Ekkehart

Custom is a key factor for economic performance. Social and economic institutions build on it. The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the motivational force of custom per se, as brought about by history. History creates entitlements, and these influence behavior. Custom is thus understood as a set of behavioral dispositions inherited from the past. In this, the present considerations deviate from earlier approaches that take custom as being stabilized by external rewards and sanctions alone

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Paper provided by Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL) in its series Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics with number 37769.

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Date of creation: Sep 1992
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics . 067 (1992-09)
Handle: RePEc:dar:ddpeco:37769
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  1. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1988. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Working papers 495, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  3. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
  4. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-31, March.
  5. Heiner, Ronald A, 1983. "The Origin of Predictable Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 560-95, September.
  6. Akerlof, George A, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of Which Unemployment May be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 749-75, June.
  7. Wittman, Donald, 1982. "Efficient Rules in Highway Safety and Sports Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 78-90, March.
  8. Opp, Karl-Dieter, 1979. "The Emergence and Effects of Social Norms: A Confrontation of Some Hypotheses of Sociology and Economics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 775-801.
  9. Iannaccone, Laurence R, 1992. "Sacrifice and Stigma: Reducing Free-Riding in Cults, Communes, and Other Collectives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 271-91, April.
  10. Schlicht, Ekkehart, 1979. "The Transition to Labour Management as a Gestalt Switch," Munich Reprints in Economics 3388, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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