The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Spontaneous Order

  • Peter Boettke
  • Jennifer Dirmeyer
Reference work entry


A spontaneous order is a pattern that is recognizable with human reason but is not created by design. The market process is a spontaneous order that is created by the process of entrepreneurship and competition. A spontaneous order is self-correcting. Prices are formed through the actions of self-interested individuals in the market, buying and abstaining from buying. They make possible an extended order so complex that it is able to communicate information worldwide to producers and consumers alike so that production plans may be coordinated to consumer demands despite any change in resources, tastes or income.


Entrepreneurship Invisible hand Language Markets Money Price system Property rights Rules of behaviour Social norms Spontaneous order 

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Boettke
    • 1
  • Jennifer Dirmeyer
    • 1
  1. 1.