Abstract rules for complex systems

Mario J. Rizzo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article addresses the question—What is the structure of rules required to undergird a complex dynamic system of actions such as the market economy? The idea of simplicity does not adequately highlight the particular characteristics that the rules must possess. Instead, this article explores the key requirement of abstractness. This is a multifaceted concept. It manifests itself in the abstract formulation of the antecedent clause in rules, and in ends-independence, decomposability, and generality. These requirements do not directly influence the size or scope of the state but they may indirectly do so by precluding certain forms of intervention.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)209-227
    Number of pages19
    JournalEuropean Journal of Law and Economics
    Issue number2-3
    StatePublished - Dec 2021


    • Abstractness
    • Complexity
    • Predictability
    • Rules
    • Stability

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Business and International Management
    • Economics and Econometrics
    • Law


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