Tuesday, September 24, 2013
M. Alexander Pearl (Florida International University College of Law) has posted Of 'Texans' and 'Custers': Maximizing Welfare and Efficiency Through Informal Norms (Roger Williams University Law Review, 2014, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Professor Robert Ellickson (Yale) theorized that the informal norms of a close-knit community maximize aggregate welfare and Professor Barak Richman (Duke) identified two distinct types of private ordering systems: “shadow of law” and “order without law.” Under the Ellickson-Richman structure, many Indian tribes qualify as close-knit groups where informal norms effectively operate. The additional trait of isolation — both geographic and cultural — makes them ideal communities for the prioritization of informal norms. The imposition of external law, such as state law, is harmful and unnecessary to the maintenance of order in these communities. Recent legislative efforts to ameliorate criminal problems in Indian Country miss the mark and an alternative solution prioritizing the operation of informal norms and private ordering should prevail over application of external law and structures.
This article expands upon Ellickson’s assessment of how social behavior is affected by law and other forces, such as the informal norms in a given social group.