Economics, Values, and Organization

Published by Cambridge University Press in March, 1998. Paperback edition forthcoming in January, 2000.

Praise for Economics, Values and Organization:

"This is an extremely valuable collection on the"hottest" topic in economic theory: how values shape institutions and institutions shape values. This is probably the single most important question that economists have left unanswered--until now!"

- George Akerlof, University of California at Berkeley and The Brookings Institution

"The contributors to this book have both guts and brains.  They are tackling deep issues that most of us just wave at.  No reflective reader will want to miss this."
- Robert M. Solow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Only by linking the formation of habits, norms, and values to objective circumstances, within an evolutionary framework, will it prove possible significantly to advance understanding of important classes of economic and social behavior and of the effects of public policies designed to influence those behaviors.  This stylistically varied collection of essays from several disciplines constitutes a major advance in implementing that agenda.  After reading the fascinating insights these essays contain and considering the challenging research program they suggest, one cannot help asking: why has it taken us so long?"
- Henry Aaron
  The Brookings Institution

"Economists have the right methodology, but sociologists have the right variables, or so it is sometimes said.  In recent years, this mismatch has begun to be corrected, as rigorous, interdisciplinary work has begun on the connection between values, institutions, and economics.  This important collective volume, edited by Ben-Ner and Putterman, harvests some of the first fruits of this new work.  It should be of wide interest throughout
the social sciences."

- Robert Putnam, Harvard University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Amartya Sen

Preface by Avner Ben-Ner and Louis Putterman


Avner Ben-Ner and Louis Putterman, Values and Institutions in Economic Analysis

Part I. The Formation and Evolution of Social Norms and Values

Robert Sugden, The Simultaneous Evolution of Institutions and Norms

Ken Binmore, A Utilitarian Theory of Political Legitimacy

Chaim Fershtman and Yoram Weiss, Why Do We Care What Others Think About Us?

Jane Mansbridge, Starting with Nothing: On the Impossibility of Grounding Norms Solely in Self-Interest

Part II. The Generation and Transmission of Values in Families and Communities

Nancy Folbre and Tom Weisskopf, Did Father Know Best? Families, Markets, and the Supply of Caring Labor

Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis, How Communities Govern: The Structural Basis of Pro-Social Norms

Timur Kuran, The Limits of Moral Diversity

John Michael Montias, Moral Diversity and Specialized Values: Some Observations

Part III. Social Norms and Culture

Robert Frank, Social Norms as Positional Arms Control Agreements

Susan Rose-Ackerman, Gifts and Bribes

Viviana Zelizer, How Do We Know Whether a Monetary Transaction is a Gift, an Entitlement, or a Payment?

Part IV. The Organization of Work, Trust, and Incentives

Ernst Fehr and Simon Gachter, How Effective Are Trust- and Reciprocity-Based Incentives?

Andrew Schotter, Worker Trust, System Vulnerability, and the Performance of Work Groups

Jonathan Baron, Trust: Beliefs and Morality

Russell Hardin, Who is the Custodian of the Custodians?

Part V. Markets, Values, and Welfare

Bruno S. Frey, Institutions and Morale: The Crowding-Out Effect

Robert Lane, The Joyless Market Economy


Douglass North, Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?

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