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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

Suggested Citation

  • Schlicht, Ekkehart, 1993. "On Custom," Munich Reprints in Economics 3163, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:3163

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-1158, December.
    2. Wittman, Donald, 1982. "Efficient Rules in Highway Safety and Sports Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 78-90, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-131, March.
    5. Heiner, Ronald A, 1983. "The Origin of Predictable Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 560-595, September.
    6. 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.
    7. Schlicht, Ekkehart, 1979. "The Transition to Labour Management as a Gestalt Switch," Munich Reprints in Economics 3388, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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 271-291, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rivera-Camino, Jaime, 2012. "Corporate environmental market responsiveness: A model of individual and organizational drivers," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 402-411.

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    Custom; conventions; social capital; entitlements;


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