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On the survival of imperfect institutions

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  • Thrainn Eggertsson

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    (Department of Economics, University of Iceland, Iceland/Department of Politics, New York University,)

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    Abstract

    When social structures are stable and social systems yield expected and desirable results, there is relatively less demand for institutional economics than during times of change. Surge of interest in institutional analysis usually comes during times when countries contemplate basic reform. The 1980s and early 1990s were such a period. NIE offered a fresh way of thinking about economic organization and its broader social context and immediately caught the attention of reformers. Yet the original contributions rarely dealt explicitly with institutional policy. This paper is concerned with the lessons of NIE for major reform or institutional policy. I particularly emphasize opportunities and limits for reform that reflect the knowledge problem as well as political and social responses to reform. Social science has not developed a comprehensive theory of social systems; rather we have accumulated bits of useful insights, often without explicitly knowing in what circumstances the insights apply. The main purpose of this paper is to discuss the lessons of modern institutional theory for institutional reform.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines in its journal Revista de Analisis Economico.

    Volume (Year): 21 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 2 (December)
    Pages: 13-24

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    Handle: RePEc:ila:anaeco:v:21:y:2006:i:2:p:13-24

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    Related research

    Keywords: Institutional Reform; Social Technologies; Knowledge Problem; Political and Social Reaction.;

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    References

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    1. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
    2. Daniel Berkowitz & Karina Pistor & Jean-Francois Richard, 2001. "Economic Development, Legality, and the Transplant Effect," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 410, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    3. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
    4. Messick, Richard E, 1999. "Judicial Reform and Economic Development: A Survey of the Issues," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 117-36, February.
    5. Jagdish N. Bhagwati, 1978. "Anatomy and Consequences of Exchange Control Regimes," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bhag78-1.
    6. Johansen, Leif, 1974. "Establishing preference functions for macroeconomic decision models : Some observations on Ragnar Frisch's contributions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 41-66, June.
    7. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
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    Cited by:
    1. Ewa Gruszewska, 2011. "Disintegration in ana institutionalized world," Ekonomia i Prawo, Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika, vol. 7(1), pages 49-66, December.

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