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Institutional Individualism and Institutional Change: The Search for a Middle Way Mode of Explanation

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  • Toboso, Fernando

Abstract

After noting the lack of enthusiasm of several well-known scholars concerning the adoption of both methodological holism and methodological individualism in its several versions, this paper shows that institutional individualism is a different mode of explanation from both of these and also that it is not the same thing as the so-called Popperian programme of situational analysis. Institutional individualism is a mode of explanation that yields non-systemic and non-reductionist explanations at the same time as it allows for the incorporation into economic theories and models of the many formal and informal institutional aspects surrounding all human interactions, whether these interactions take place within stable structures of legal rules and social norms or whether they attempt to change the said rules and norms. Finally, the paper shows that it is possible for old institutionalists to make institutional individualist analyses of institutional changes while retaining the remaining methodological assumptions of the school. The same is true for new institutionalists. Some examples are offered from both camps. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Cambridge Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 25 (2001)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 765-83

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:25:y:2001:i:6:p:765-83

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Cited by:
  1. Fernando Toboso, 2006. "Old organizational issues from a new institutional economics perspective. Some introductory remarks," Revista de Analisis Economico – Economic Analysis Review, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines, vol. 21(2), pages 3-11, December.
  2. Anthony Evans & Nikolai Wenzel, 2013. "A framework for the study of firms as constitutional orders," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 2-18, March.
  3. Alberto ZAZZARO, 2002. "How Heterodox is the Heterodoxy of the Monetary Circuit Theory? The Nature of Money and the Microeconomy of the Circuit," Working Papers 163, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  4. Gonzalo Caballero, 2004. "Instituciones e historia económica: enfoques y teorías institucionales," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 6(10), pages 135-157, January-J.

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