Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Institutions

Contents:

Author Info

  • Douglass C. North

Abstract

Institutions are the humanly devised constraints that structure political, economic, and social interaction. They consist of both informal constraints (sanctions, taboos, customs, traditions, and codes of conduct), and formal rules (constitutions, laws, property rights). Throughout history, institutions have been devised by human beings to create order and reduce uncertainty in exchange. Together with the standard constraints of economics they define the choice set and therefore determine transaction and production costs and hence the profitability and feasibility of engaging in economic activity. They evolve incrementally, connecting the past with the present and the future; history in consequence is largely a story of institutional evolution in which the historical performance of economies can only be understood as a part of a sequential story. Institutions provide the incentive structure of an economy; as that structure evolves, it shapes the direction of economic change towards growth, stagnation, or decline. In this essay, I intend to elaborate on the role of institutions in the performance of economies and illustrate my analysis from economic history.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.5.1.97
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 5 (1991)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
Pages: 97-112

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:5:y:1991:i:1:p:97-112

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.5.1.97
Contact details of provider:
Email:
Web page: http://www.aeaweb.org/jep/
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Web: http://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html

Related research

Keywords:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1989. "Markets, Market Failures, and Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 197-203, May.
  2. Arthur, W Brian, 1989. "Competing Technologies, Increasing Returns, and Lock-In by Historical Events," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(394), pages 116-31, March.
  3. Posner, Richard A, 1980. "A Theory of Primitive Society, with Special Reference to Law," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 1-53, April.
  4. Douglass C. North, 1955. "Location Theory and Regional Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 243.
  5. Watts, Ross L & Zimmerman, Jerold L, 1983. "Agency Problems, Auditing, and the Theory of the Firm: Some Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 613-33, October.
  6. de Roover, Florence Edler, 1945. "Early Examples of Marine Insurance," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(02), pages 172-200, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Two Essays on Douglass North
    by Peter Klein in Organizations and Markets on 2007-06-22 14:54:23
  2. Institutions as Capital?
    by Wayne Cain in econ trek on 2011-11-13 15:57:00

RePEc Biblio mentions

As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
  1. > Schools of Economic Thought, Epistemology of Economics > Heterodox Approaches > Institutional Economics
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Fan, Joseph P. H. & Morck, Randall & Lixin Colin Xu & Yeung, Bernard, 2007. "Does"good government"draw foreign capital ? Explaining China's exceptional foreign direct investment inflow," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4206, The World Bank.
  2. Gonzalo Escribano, 2006. "Europeanisation without Europe? The Mediterranean and the Neighbourhood Policy," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 19, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  3. Lorenzo Pellegrini & Gideon Kruseman, 2008. "Institutions and Forest Management: A Case Study from Swat, Pakistan," Working Papers 2008.42, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. Mark A. Pollack, 2007. "The New Institutionalisms and European Integration," The Constitutionalism Web-Papers p0031, University of Bath, Department of European Studies and Modern Languages.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:5:y:1991:i:1:p:97-112. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros) or (Michael P. Albert).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.