Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Homogeneity and Heterogeneity Within and Across Boundaries and Shorelines: Ensemble of Darwin's Finches and Human Transaction Types


Author Info

  • Beth Yarbrough


  • Robert Yarbrough


Registered author(s):


    Synopsis: In the most famous example of the biological process of adaptive radiation, two forces explain the fourteen distinct species of Darwin's finches on the Galápagos and Cocos Islands: First, populations adapt to their respective distinct ecological environments. Second, previously separated populations come in contact and may adapt to mitigate inter-species competition. The result is a complex pattern of homogeneity and heterogeneity among the birds, both on a single island and across islands. This pattern reflects the finches' adaptations both to the distinct ecological conditions created by the visible shorelines that separate the islands' niches and to the finches' own less-visible cultural and societal shorelines. The New Institutional Economics highlights the fact that human institutional infrastructures also exhibit complex homogeneities and heterogeneities, as we adapt those infrastructures to accomplish the tasks at hand in distinct geographic and societal contexts. Mixes of both state enforcement and self-enforcement, through inter-temporal, inter-issue, and inter-actor linkages, provide support and enforcement for transactions; and those mixes differ across transactions and across states. When transactions occur across state or cultural shorelines, institutional infrastructures must be flexible enough to accommodate those differences, without allowing the differences to become disguised protectionism or barriers to competition. These issues contribute to many of the regulatory disputes associated with ‘globalization’. We briefly consider two concrete recent examples: (1) the European Union–United States ‘Safe Harbor’ Agreement that regulates firms' policies toward Internet-data privacy; and (2) international trade policy negotiations over regulation of ‘geographical indications’ (for example, Champagne or Roquefort) as means of assuring product quality for processed foods. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

    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:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Bioeconomics.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 2 (May)
    Pages: 165-191

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:kap:jbioec:v:5:y:2003:i:2:p:165-191

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Related research

    Keywords: branding; contracting; geographical indications; governance structures; identity; institutions; linkage; new economics of organization; new institutional economics; self enforcement; territoriality of law;


    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. Westhoff, Frank H. & Yarbrough, Beth V. & Yarbrough, Robert M., 1996. "Complexity, organization, and Stuart Kauffman's The Origins of Order," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-25, January.
    2. Mattli, Walter, 2001. "Private Justice in a Global Economy: From Litigation to Arbitration," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(04), pages 919-947, September.
    3. Sandler,Todd & Hartley,Keith, 1999. "The Political Economy of NATO," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521638807, April.
    4. Abbott, Frederick M., 2000. "NAFTA and the Legalization of World Politics: A Case Study," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(03), pages 519-547, June.
    5. Enrico Spolaore & Alberto Alesina & Romain Wacziarg, 2000. "Economic Integration and Political Disintegration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1276-1296, December.
    6. Jean Ensminger, 1997. "Transaction Costs and Islam: Explaining Conversion in Africa," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 153(1), pages 4-, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)



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


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jbioec:v:5:y:2003:i:2:p:165-191. 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: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F. Baum).

    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.