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Adam Smith's account of self-deceit and informal institutions

  • Caroline Gerschlager
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    According to Adam Smith, self-deceit is essential to the economy. In this light the paper draws on the Theory of Moral Sentiments and revisits Adam Smith’s view of the self. The originality of Smith’s account of self-deceit is seen in his insights into self-regulating social forces. The paper illustrates how, in this view, informal institutions are important because they countervail self-deceit in markets. It suggests that Smith overestimated these countervailing forces for the reason that informal norms are also able to amplify selfdeceiving agents.

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    File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/13610/1/dul-0083.pdf
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    Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series DULBEA Working Papers with number 07-10.RS.

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    Date of creation: May 2007
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    Publication status: Published by: ULB, DULBEA
    Handle: RePEc:dul:wpaper:07-10rs
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://difusion.ulb.ac.be
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