Book

On Custom in the Economy

Ekkehart Schlicht

Published in print March 1998 | ISBN: 9780198292241
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596865 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198292244.001.0001
On Custom in the Economy

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Custom is an integral part of the institutional matrix of modern economies. Market processes hinge crucially on custom, which in turn affect these processes. The book proposes a theory of custom that emphasizes the motivational force that arises from the individual's striving for coherence and justification. It depicts custom as comprising habitual, cognitive, and emotional aspects and explains that market transactions rely on customary entitlements and obligations. The motivational force of custom emerges from a preference for regularity and a desire for coherence that tie cognition, emotion, and action together. The view is applied to the theory of property, the theory of the law, the theory of the firm, and the problem of the division of labour and the conditions under which that division of labour is better organized by the firm or by the market.

Keywords: coherence; conventions; custom; firms; law; motivation; organization; property; regularity; transactions

Book.  342 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Microeconomics

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Table of Contents

Introduction in On Custom in the Economy

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A Web of Reinforcements in On Custom in the Economy

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Entitlements and Obligations in On Custom in the Economy

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Smooth and Lumpy Changes in On Custom in the Economy

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Fuzziness in On Custom in the Economy

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Adaptive Custom in On Custom in the Economy

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Clarity in On Custom in the Economy

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Rules and Schemata in On Custom in the Economy

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Rule Preference in On Custom in the Economy

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Attribution and Motivation in On Custom in the Economy

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