Impact: How Law Affects Behavior

Impact: How Law Affects Behavior

by Lawrence M. Friedman

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Overview

Laws and regulations are ubiquitous, touching on many aspects of individual and corporate behavior. But under what conditions are laws and rules actually effective? A huge amount of recent work in political science, sociology, economics, criminology, law, and psychology, among other disciplines, deals with this question. But these fields rarely inform one another, leaving the state of research disjointed and disorganized. Lawrence M. Friedman finds order in this cacophony. Impact gathers recent findings into one overarching analysis and lays the groundwork for a cohesive body of work in what Friedman labels “impact studies.”

The first important factor that has a bearing on impact is communication. A rule or law has no effect if it never reaches its intended audience. The public’s fund of legal knowledge, the clarity of the law, and the presence of information brokers all influence the flow of information from lawmakers to citizens. After a law is communicated, subjects sometimes comply, sometimes resist, and sometimes adjust or evade. Three clusters of motives help shape which reaction will prevail: first, rewards and punishments; second, peer group influences; and third, issues of conscience, legitimacy, and morality. When all of these factors move in the same direction, law can have a powerful impact; when they conflict, the outcome is sometimes unpredictable.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674971059
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 09/19/2016
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Lawrence M. Friedman is Marion Rice Kirkwood Professor of Law at Stanford Law School.

Table of Contents

A Very Short Prologue ix

1 Introduction 1

2 Getting Out the Message 7

3 An Anatomy of Compliance 44

4 A Typology of Responses 73

5 Rewards and Punishments: The Punishment Side 96

6 Rewards and Punishments: Incentives and the Civil Side 139

7 The Pressure of Peers 153

8 The Inner Voice 188

9 Factors in Harmony; Factors in Battle 218

10 A Concluding Word 249

Notes 255

Acknowledgments 297

Index 299

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