Ekkehart Schlicht

in On Custom in the Economy

Published in print March 1998 | ISBN: 9780198292241
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596865 | DOI:

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Rigidity refers to constancy over some range of conditions. Such rigidity is not accounted for by the adaptive view expounded in the preceding chapter. In this chapter, rigidity is traced to concept formation and learning. In order to transmit rules of custom, these rules must be perceived and learned. Clarity eases learning, and transmission is biased towards clarity. This restricts the continuum of possible rules to a somewhat discrete spectrum. At the same time, the clarity requirement induces context dependency: Each rule of custom builds on the other rules, and custom must be conceived as a system. Fundamental clarity properties are shared across cultures.

Keywords: clarity; concept formation; context dependency; cultures; framing; learning; rigidity; rule transmission

Chapter.  5325 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Microeconomics

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