Rules and Choice in Economics: Essays in Constitutional Political Economy

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 1994-12-20
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Rules and Choice in Economicsis concerned with how the rules and institutions which are the basis of cooperation in society can be systematically explained. 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 behavior, struggles to account for purposeful individual action. In the place of these models, Viktor J. Vanberg offers an account which cuts across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Analyzing the work of thinkers including Hayek, Rawls, Nozick and Coleman, Vanberg addresses issues such as rational choice, rule following behavior, self-interest and morality. The book pays particular attention 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 cohere and why theychange.

Author Biography

Viktor J. Vanberg is both Professor of Economics and member of the Center for Study of Public Choice at George Mason University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
The Reason of Rulesp. 9
Rules and Choice in Economics and Sociologyp. 11
Rational Choice vs Adaptive Rule-Followingp. 25
Rationality and Moralityp. 39
Morality and Economicsp. 41
Rational Choice and Moral Orderp. 60
The Evolution of Rulesp. 75
Spontaneous Market Order and Social Rulesp. 77
Hayekian Evolutionism- A Reconstructionp. 95
Rules in Markets and Organizationsp. 107
Hayek's Constitutional Political Economyp. 109
Organizations as Constitutional Systemsp. 125
Carl Menger's Evolutionary and John R. Commons's Collective Action Approach to Institutionsp. 144
Constitutional Choicep. 165
Interests and Theories in Constitutional Choicep. 167
Constitutional Choice, Rational Ignorance and the Limits of Reasonp. 178
Legitimacy in Constitutional Orderp. 193
Liberal Evolutionism and Contractarian Constitutionalismp. 195
Individual Choice and Institutional Constraintsp. 208
Notesp. 235
Bibliographyp. 293
Indexp. 305
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