Where Do Norms Come From?

The New Rambler, Forthcoming

7 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2015

See all articles by Cass R. Sunstein

Cass R. Sunstein

Harvard Law School; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: March 4, 2015


This essay is a review of Edna Ullmann-Margalit’s pathbreaking 1978 book, The Emergence of Norms. It urges that Ullmann-Margalit’s treatment of PD norms and coordination norms remains convincing, but that a great deal of work remains to be done on the topic of norms of partiality, where adaptive preferences and preference falsification play significant roles. It also emphasizes the importance of distinguishing between causal and functional accounts of norms.

Keywords: norms, Ullmann-Margalit, adaptive preferences, preference falsification

JEL Classification: D003, D10, D11, D18, D60, D80, K0, K2

Suggested Citation

Sunstein, Cass R., Where Do Norms Come From? (March 4, 2015). The New Rambler, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2574062

Cass R. Sunstein (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts Ave
Areeda Hall 225
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2291 (Phone)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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