… is from page 283 of my colleague Peter Boettke’s 2010 article, in Public Choice, titled “Is the only form of ‘reasonable regulation’ self regulation?: Lessons from Lin Ostrom on regulating the commons and cultivating citizens” (link added):
Elinor Ostrom, the 2009 Nobel Prize winner in economic science, has made significant contributions throughout her career to the disciplines of political economy and public choice. Her most widely recognized contributions relate to the work on common-pool resources. She has discovered a diversity of institutional arrangements that serve in various human societies to promote cooperation and avoid conflict over resource use. Where a strict interpretation of [neoclassical economic] theory would predict over-use and mismanagement, she found collective action arrangements that proved effective in limiting access and establishing accountability. Many of the effective tools of governance she found resided not in the formal structure of government, but instead in the informal, and sometimes even tacit, rules that communities live by.
DBx: Law – unlike legislation – is never made. It emerges as the result of human action but not of human design.