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Superstition and Self-Governance

Peter Leeson () and Paola A. Suarez

A chapter in New Thinking in Austrian Political Economy, 2015, vol. 19, pp 47-66 from Emerald Publishing Ltd

Abstract: Abstract This paper investigates the relationship between superstition and self-governance. We argue that at least some superstitions, and perhaps many, support self-governing arrangements. The relationship between such scientifically false beliefs and private institutions is symbiotic and socially productive. This simple but overlooked observation may help explain the emergence and otherwise puzzling persistence of both superstitions and “spontaneous” orders that seem perverse or dysfunctional, as well as why these two phenomena are often found together.

Keywords: Superstition; self-governance; spontaneous order; beliefs; K40; Z10; Z12; Z19; P48; N33; N43; B53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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