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Social Norms, the Invisible Hand, and the Law

Anomaly, Jonny; Brennan, H Geoffrey

Description

In this paper we argue that social norms are emergent orders, and that when they work well they function as invisible hands, leading each person to act in ways that inadvertently promote social welfare. While coercively enforced laws can achieve similar ends, we argue that lawmakers are apt to overlook the ability of social norms to solve collective action problems. Although there is no simple answer to the question of whether norms or laws should prevail, we outline some general principles to...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2014
Type: Journal article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/34744
Source: QUT Law Review (University of Queensland Law Review)
DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.2527984
Access Rights: Open Access

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