Formal Institutions and the IAD Framework: Bringing the Law Back In

28 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2014 Last revised: 10 Sep 2014

See all articles by Daniel H. Cole

Daniel H. Cole

Indiana University Maurer School of Law; Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Date Written: July 24, 2014

Abstract

Elinor Ostrom's Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework is a widely used mechanism for diagnosing and assessing the institutional structures of social and social-ecological dilemmas. It has been described as "one of the most developed and sophisticated attempts to use institutional and stakeholder assessment in order to link theory and practice, analysis and policy." But not all elements in the framework are yet sufficiently well-developed. This paper focuses on one such element: the "rules-in-use" (a.k.a., "working rules"). Specifically, the paper begins a long overdue conversation about relations between formal legal rules and "working rules" by offering a tentative typology of relations. Type 1: Some formal legal rules equal or approximate the working rules; Type 2: Some legal rules plus widely-held social norms equal or approximate the working rules; and Type 3: Some legal rules bear no evident relation to the working rules. Several examples, including some previously used by Lin Ostrom, are provided to illustrate each of the three types, which can be conceived of as nodes (or ranges) on a continuum. The paper concludes with a call for empirical research into which of these types of relations is more common than the others in various circumstances.

Keywords: institutions, law, rules, IAD framework

JEL Classification: D7, H4, K4

Suggested Citation

Cole, Daniel H., Formal Institutions and the IAD Framework: Bringing the Law Back In (July 24, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2471040 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2471040

Daniel H. Cole (Contact Author)

Indiana University Maurer School of Law ( email )

211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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