Chapter 7: Law, regulation and the economy: the impact of legal norms and regulations on economic actions and outcomes
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The relationship between law, regulation and the economy has a longstanding history in sociology beginning with the classical theorists. Despite this, their interaction was largely left unstudied by economic sociologists until the late twentieth century. We find that a substantial amount of literature in this area of economic sociology falls within two thematic areas. Much of the literature gives priority to cultural analysis to understand organizational and institutional reactions to external regulation. Other literature focuses on regulation in the neoliberal era with many arguing that despite neoliberal ideology of deregulation, globalization requires more or different forms of regulation. Although some economic sociologists suggest that the “new economic sociology” incorporates politics, we find that insufficient attention is given to social actors, power hierarchies, and how transformation of political-legal arrangements in the neoliberal era benefit corporations and the wealthy.

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