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Institutional spontaneity and social cooperation

Jakub Bo_ydar Wi_niewski

Chapter 4 in Mengerian Economics, 2023, pp 78-86 from Edward Elgar Publishing

Abstract: The present chapter focuses and builds on the Mengerian reflection concerning the spontaneous nature of institutions that facilitate large-scale social cooperation. Having grounded the reflection in question in the multi-level organizational hierarchy developed within the New Institutionalist tradition, it identifies an anomalous level in it - the level of so-called hard institutions - which typically consists of institutions that are neither spontaneous nor voluntary. Subsequently, it suggests that eradicating its anomalous character by enacting an appropriate preference change in public opinion could result in fundamental improvements in the quality and efficiency of social cooperation, especially with respect to legal stability, transparency, and responsiveness to normative social expectations. In other words, it indicates that it is only when hard institutions are fully consensual and spontaneously accepted on the micro level - even if consciously planned on the macro level - that they can be legitimately regarded as genuine public goods.

Keywords: Economics and Finance; Politics and Public Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
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