Rationality works best, that is, we generally get the kind of results that we want, in a world where the choices are very limited. Now, the reason for that is very simple. When you structure the environment by rules, laws, and tools and techniques, the players are constrained in certain directions. It is the constraints on the actors that help the decision-maker. The more unconstrained the environment, through lack of an effective artifactual structure, the more difficult it is for people to make choices or to implement their choices in effective ways.
--- Douglas C. North. DEALING WITH A NON-ERGODIC WORLD: INSTITUTIONAL ECONOMICS, PROPERTY RIGHTS, AND THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT.