Institutions and their strength

Frank Hindriks*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Institutions can be strong or weak. But what does this mean? Equilibrium theories equate institutions with behavioural regularities. In contrast, rule theories explicate them in terms of a standard that people are supposed to meet. I propose that, when an institution is weak, a discrepancy exists between the regularity and the standard or rule. To capture this discrepancy, I present a hybrid theory, the Rules-and-Equilibria Theory. According to this theory, institutions are rule-governed behavioural regularities. The Rules-and-Equilibria Theory provides the basis for two measures of institutional strength. First, institutions that pertain to coordination games solve problems of information. Their strength is primarily a matter of the expected degree of compliance. Second, institutions that concern mixed-motive games solve problems of motivation. Their strength can be measured in terms of the weight people attribute to its rule.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-371
Number of pages18
JournalEconomics and Philosophy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2022


  • Institution
  • normative belief
  • normative expectation
  • social norm
  • social practice

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