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Rules and choice in economics

Author: Viktor Vanberg
Publisher: London ; New York : Routledge, ©1994.
Series: Economics as social theory.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Why do the conventions that enable society to cohere survive, even when it is not in everyone's interests to obey them? This book is about how the rules and institutions which are the basis of co-operation in society can be systematically explained. The social sciences which have concerned themselves with this question have frequently come up with opposite explanations, neither of which seem adequate. Economics,
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Viktor Vanberg
ISBN: 0415068738 9780415068734 0415094798 9780415094795
OCLC Number: 32276283
Description: vi, 310 pages ; 24 cm.
Contents: Introduction: Economics as social theory --
pt. I. The reason of rules. 1. Rules and choice in economics and sociology. 2. Rational choice vs adaptive rule-following: On the behavioural foundations of the social sciences --
pt. II. Rationality and morality. 3. Morality and economics: De moribus est disputandum. 4. Rational choice and moral order / Victor J. Vanberg and James M. Buchanan --
pt. III. The evolution of rules. 5. Spontaneous market order and social rules: A critical examination of F.A. Hayek's theory of cultural evolution. 6. Hayekian evolutionism --
a reconstruction --
pt. IV. Rules in markets and organizations. 7. Hayek's constitutional political economy. 8. Organizations as constitutional systems. 9. Carl Menger's evolutionary and John R. Commons's collective action approach to institutions: A comparison --
pt. V. Constitutional choice. 10. Interests and theories in constitutional choice / Victor J. Vanberg and James M. Buchanan.
Series Title: Economics as social theory.
Responsibility: Viktor J. Vanberg.
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Abstract:

Why do the conventions that enable society to cohere survive, even when it is not in everyone's interests to obey them? This book is about how the rules and institutions which are the basis of co-operation in society can be systematically explained. The social sciences which have concerned themselves with this question have frequently come up with opposite explanations, neither of which seem adequate. Economics, with its emphasis on individual choice, seems unable to account for individuals following rules when it is not in their interest to do so. Sociology, which can explain such rule-following behaviour, struggles to account for purposeful individual action.

In the place of such a stark opposition, Viktor J. Vanberg offers an analysis which cuts across traditional disciplinary boundaries between such fields as economics, law, moral philosophy, sociology and political science. Addressing such issues as the relationship between self-interest and morality and between evolution and design, his range of reference is equally wide, and Vanberg analyses the contributions of Rawls, Axelrod, Gauthier and Coleman, amongst others. Particular attention is given to a comparison of Hayek's evolutionary liberalism and Buchanan's contractarian liberalism. Taken together, the various parts of the volume represent a coherent theoretical argument about why institutions exist, and why they change.

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